Churches of Goa
The churches of Goa are famous throughout the world for their unique architecture, exquisite locations and beautiful paintings and frescoes. Some of the most famous ones are Church of Our Lady of Rosary, the Rachol Seminary, Church of St.
Francis of Assisi, Se Cathedral and Basilica of Bom Jesus. Some of the other churches include the 16th century Reis Magos Church or Church of the Three Magi Kings, which was once a mission center of the Franciscan Monks. Church of Mae de Dens or Mother of God at Bardez Taluka, Saligao with its exemplary Gothic architecture was known for a statue that was brought in from a convent and was known for its miraculous powers.
The 16th century Church of St. Alex at Curtorim, Church of St.
Anne or Santana at Talaulin Iltias is situated on the bank of River Siridao and is dedicated to the Mother of Mary. Church of Our Lady of Rosary is situated atop the Holy Hill in Velha Goa or Old Goa. It is one of the earliest churches here. One of the oldest churches dedicated to Virgin Mary, the church situated in Panajim or Panaji is dedicated to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The huge Convent of Santa Monica built in 1606 was the first Nunnery in Asia. The Rachol Seminary in South Goa was originally a Muslim fortress, converted to Church by the Portuguese. Later they used it as a prison till the late 16th century when it acquired respectability as a seminary for Theological Studies.
Church of St. Francis of Assisi
Not far away stands the beautiful whitewashed Church of St. Francis of Assisi, which today houses part of the archaeological museum. Exhibits include prehistoric items from a distant tribal past as also reminders of Goa Dourada, Golden Goa, also known as the 'Pearl of the Orient' or 'Rome of the East' during its heyday.
It was the concentration of magnificent churches, symbol of a powerful conquering presence, which justified this last title. In fact, the Church of St. Cajatan, built by an Italian architect in 1651, was modeled in miniature on St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Today a theological college is housed here.
Church of Our Lady of Rosary.
In Velha Goa or Old Goa, crowning a hill, which was known as the Holy hill, is one of the earliest churches, the Church of Our Lady of Rosary. In Panajim or Panaji, as Goa's capital is called today, the oldest Church is dedicated to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The huge Convent of Santa Monica, dating from 1606, was the first Nunnery in Asia. Today, after centuries of changing fortunes, it has been restored and is once again a residential convent