Popular North Goa Churches

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Basilica of Bom Jesus is the most popular and renowned church of Goa. This magnificent edifice was built in the 16th century where the mortal of St. Francis Xavier is kept. The corpse is treasured in a silver coffer. This church is dedicated to newborn Jesus and is now known as a World Heritage Monument.

This is the only church in Old Goa, which is not plastered on the outside. This magnificent edifice stands as a superb example of Baroque architecture in Goa. The church is called "Bom Jesus" meaning 'good Jesus' or 'infant Jesus' to whom it is dedicated. The interior is embellished with a screen that runs from the floor to the ceiling and has the image of St Ignatius Loyola protecting an infant Jesus.

Se Cathedral

Dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, the Se Cathedral Church of Goa is said to be the largest in Asia. This splendid church was constructed in the 16th century by the Portuguese. The Cathedral lies to the west of the great square Terreiro de Sabaio while its portico faces the east. Climb a flight of steps to enter the beautiful courtyard of the church.

The five massive bells inside the church are its major highlights. One amongst these five is called the 'Golden Bell'. Made of an alloy of gold with some other metals, it is the largest of its kind in Goa. Its melodic tone has led to its commemoration in a Portuguese poem. Dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, the paintings displayed on both sides of the altar depict scenes from her life.

Church of Our Lady of the Mount, Ella Goa

The Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount is situated on top of the hill behind the St. Cajetan Church. The chapel was build in 1510 by Alfonso de Albuquerque after his victory over the Goan Muslim ruler Yusuf Shah and was renovated in 2001. Built in typical Portuguese style, the Chapel is brightly white washed. A series of steps leads to the Chapel, which is built of laterite plastered with lime mortar. The Chapel has 3 altars. The main is dedicated to Our Lady of the Mount. The side altars, dedicated to Lisboa and to St. Anthony, the Hermit.

The structure faces west which provides beautiful views from Divar and Chorao islands, the Mandovi River and the surrounding forested hills, especially during sunset. It also offers the overview of Old Goa. Monte Music Festival is organized by Fundacao Oriente in cooperation with the Kala Academy held here every year in November. This annual festival lasts for 4 days. The festival harmonizes Indian classical and Western classical forms of music. During the festival, various artists showcase their musical talent to complete perfection.

Church of St. Cajetan

One of the most important tourist attractions of Goa, the beautiful church of St. Cajetan, lies about half a kilometer away to the north east of the Se Cathedral, one of the landmarks of Goa’s capital city, Panjim. Constructed in the purity of white, the church is one of the biggest tourist attractions of Goa.

Besides the main altar that is dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence, the St. Cajetan church has six Baroque style gilded altars which have figures of angels dominating twisted shafts. To the left the three altars are dedicated to St. Clare, the Holy family and Our Lady of Piety whereas those to the right are dedicated to St. Agnes, St. John and St. Cajetan. Scenes from the life of St. Cajetan are depicted by the Italian school paintings on canvas on the altars. A covered well, supposed to be the remnant of a Hindu temple exists on the church floor.

Mae De Deus Church

One of Goa's finest architectural marvels is the Mae De Deus Church in Saligao. It has the typical pointed arch, with buttresses supporting its exteriors, belfry, and spikes all which have come together to create a wonderful piece of Gothic architecture. Its illuminated view in the evenings is at its best. Originally the church was situated at Daujim, a tiny suburb of Old Goa in the 16th century.

The doom shape gives a magnificent look to the church. The statue of Nossa Senhora is worshipped by the devotees in the courtyard of the church. There are two lofty bells inside the tower that add to the serenity of the church. The church also makes for a photographers dream canvas. The feast is celebrated on the first Sunday of May every year. Every day the novena is organized by a different ward of Saligao. The festivities end with a grand procession in veneration of Our Lady invoking her blessings on the village of Saligao. A 'Fair' is organized that offer the visitors with sweets, toys and refreshments all through the day.

St. Diogo’s Church

St. Diogo Church is a well known Franciscan Church situated at the foot hills of Monte de Guirim. The Church was built by Fr Miguel de Sam Boaventura in 1604, with support from the local Comunidade. The main altar is dedicated to the patron St. Diogo and on either side is St. Anthony of Padua and St. Francis of Assisi. There are 5 other ornate altars present in the nave. The altar on the left hand side is dedicated to infant Jesus and on the right is dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary.

The doom shape gives a magnificent look to the church. The statue of Nossa Senhora is worshipped by the devotees in the courtyard of the church. There are two lofty bells inside the tower that add to the serenity of the church. The church also makes for a photographers dream canvas. The feast is celebrated on the first Sunday of May every year. Every day the novena is organized by a different ward of Saligao. The festivities end with a grand procession in veneration of Our Lady invoking her blessings on the village of Saligao. A 'Fair' is organized that offer the visitors with sweets, toys and refreshments all through the day.

Santa Cruz Church / Holy Cross Church

The Holy Cross Church is also known as Santa Cruz Church situated in Santa Cruz or Calapur village. The name Santa Cruz is derived from two words Santa means holy and Cruz means Cross. The Holy Cross Church was built in Calapur at the recommendation of the King of Portugal in 1957 as a means of converting the people to Christianity.

The facade of the Church of Santa Cruz is a replica of the Se Cathedral and many little secrets are carved into the main door. In addition to the main church building there are 5 chapels and 9 crosses, besides many crosses that have been erected by families themselves. The feast of Holy Cross Church is held on the Sunday between 2nd and 8th of May every year which is the main village festival. The villagers also celebrate harvest festival with great pomp on 24th August.

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

The Panaji Church or the Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is located in the heart of Panaji City near the Municipal Garden. As history goes, the church was first built as a chapel in 1541 to serve the religious needs of Portuguese sailors at their first port of call as they disembarked before proceeding further. The architecture and interiors of the church are worth admiring. It gives you a great view of the entire city from top. The church looks even more beautiful at night when its all lit up.

The distinctive architecture of the church includes a series of criss-crossing steps that lead you to the prayer hall and massive bells on its rooftop. On the 8th of December the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary is celebrated with great solemnity in Panjim. The church during this time is colurfully illuminated. The occasion calls for big fairs to be laid out in the throughfares and roads around the church.

St Alex Church

St. Alex Church is one of the architectural masterpieces and counted among the oldest churches in Goa. The Church was dedicated originally to Our Lady of Guadalupe; however it was thereafter dedicated to St. Alex by an Apostolic Brief in 1815.

The Church of St. Alex has two towers and a splendid dome modeled on the one at St. Peter's Basilica situated in Rome. The Church has 7 alters. The three main being at the center and two sides, dedicated to our lady of the Mount, Our lady of Perpetual succor, the sacred heart of Jesus and Mary and the Our Lady of the immaculate Conception. The church is indeed unique. The Feast of St. Alex the Patron Saint is held each year on July 17, the main feast is still dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe and celebrated every year on 18th December. Locally, this most significant religious event is referred to as 'Khelleam Fest'.

St. Clara’s Church

The St Clara's church situated at Assonora was originally built as a chapel in the year 1768 by the Franciscan Friars. The chapel was known as the St. Clara of Assisi chapel and in the late 17th century it was burnt on several ocassions by the Bhonsles. The Chapel was affiliated to the parish of Tivim.

The Church has five altars and the main altar is dedicated to Santa Clara. The Church constructed a hall for the parish and Village activities in 2001. The Church is well known for its Friday's inner healing sessions that attract huge crowds. Youth retreats held here also receive wide support. The feast of St. Clara Church is celebrated on 2nd Saturday of May that is 14th May every year with great pomp.

Chapel of Saint Sebastian

The Chapel of St Sebastian is a popular tourist attraction in Goa, built in 1818 at Arpora, Goa. This chapel is dedicated to St. Sebastian. In earlier days, people were troubled with the disease of pests and plagues, which was very frequent in Salcette area. They turned for help to St Sebastian who treated them through his mediation and miraculous interventions.

This chapel has a small nave with an adjoining narrow corridor with a staircase leading to the choir. This whitewashed church has a striking crucifix which originally stood in the Palace of Inquisition in Old Goa. The Chapel also houses a statue of the Virgin Mary, two marquetry chests and three elaborately carved screens from a church in Diu, which once formed part of the colony of Goa. It dominates the small square where the locals used to hold the lively annual street feast on each mid November to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Livrament.

Our Lady of Penha de Franca Church

Nossa Senhora de Penha de Franca is one of the most beautiful sites in Goa situated in very scenic location right on the banks of Mandovi River. Nossa Senhora de Penha de Franca is also known as Our Lady of the Rock of France. The Church gets its name from Saint Nossa Senhora de Penha de Franca, a Spanish saint who is believed to have saved Portuguese sailors from a dangerous situation on their voyage to India.

The church was built in Britona on the banks of the River Mandovi in 1626, dedicated to Nossa Senhora De Penha De Franca. The church was entirely funded by a widow named Ana De Azvado, a Franciscan Tertiary. Our Lady of the Rock of France became famous for the miracles performed for those who made the pilgrimage. The high-vaulted ceiling and simple but beautifully interiors make the church looks amazing.

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi is a Roman Catholic Church situated in the main square of Old Goa. The Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi were established by eight Portuguese Franciscan friars who landed in Goa in 1517.

The west facing church has a nave with three chapels on both side, a choir on the first floor, a main altar and two other altars. Belfry and a sacristy are on the north of main altar, today which you see the house of Archaeological Museum was actually a convent forming annexure to the church. The main altar is Baroque with Corinthian features. There are no aisles but only a nave, which is rib-vaulted. The internal buttress walls separating the chapels and supporting the gallery on top.

Holy Cross Shrine, Bambolim

Holy Cross Church Bambolim is situated about 4 Km from Bambolim Beach, and very close to the Medical College Bambolim on Edapally-Panwel Highway. Every one is having a faith and even the passing vehicles just stop and paying their respect or homage as devotees are regularly attending the masses.

This Fulmacho Furis is about 50 years old which is a beacon of hope and faith always remain garlanded even sometimes just not visible, and now there is a tradition in Bambolim and in nearby villages to visit the holy cross before the commencement of any ceremony.

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