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Churches & Convents of Goa

Church in Goa
Location : Goa
Given World Heritage Status in : 1986
Entrance Fee : Free
Visiting Time : 0830 hrs to 1730 hrs

Description : Built several centuries ago by the Portuguese rulers, the Churches and Convents of Goa are known for their unique architectural style. Some of the popular Churches and Convents of Goa include Basilica de Bom Jesus, Church of Lady Rosary, Se Cathedral, Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi.

Old Goa's churches and Convents at Velha (Old Goa) owe their existence to the Portuguese rule. The Church of Bom Jesus, which contains the tomb of St Francis-Xavier, is one of the most visited churches of India.

The Bom Jesus Basilica and a few designated convents are designated a World Heritage Site. The Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, regarded by many Catholics as the patron saint of Goa (the patron of the Archdiocese of Goa is actually the Blessed Joseph Vaz. Once every decade, the body is taken down for veneration and for public viewing. The last such event was conducted in 2004. The Velhas Conquistas regions are also known for its Goa-Portuguese style architecture.

The most comprehensive group of churches and cathedrals built during 16th and 17th century AD at Old Goa comprise of the following:

Se'Cathedral, Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi, Chapel of St. Catherine, Basilica of Born Jesus; Church of Lady of Rosary; Church of St. Augustine.

The Church of St. Cajetan is modelled on the original design of St. Peter's Church in Rome. The Church of Bom Jesus with its facade decorated with lonic, Doric and Corinthian pilasters, shows the application of the Classical order. The Se'Cathedral, with its Tuscan exterior the Corinthian columns at its portals, the raised platform with steps leading to the entrance, the barrel-vault above the nave, is yet another example of Renaissance.

The paintings in the churches were done on wooden borders and fixed between panels having floral designs as in the chapels housing the tomb of St. Xavier, the arches above the altars in the transept of the Se'Cathedral and in the nave on either side of the main altar in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Excepting a few which are in stone, the statues are mostly in wood delicately carved and painted to adorn the altars. They depict mostly the saints, Mother Mary and Jesus on the cross.

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