World Heritage Sites in Goa- Know About the Marvelous Churches of this Indian State
Goa is home to some of the most amazing churches in the world. The masterpieces mostly belong to the Portuguese era and some of them still stand tall narrating their stories. Most of these churches have been conferred the status of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. They represent a time in Goan history when Portuguese architecture flourished significantly. These churches are the fine examples of the architectural glory of Goa.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is situated in Old Goa where most of the World Heritage Sites can be found. This is the first church to be promoted to become Basilica and the remains of St. Francis Xavier are kept here and hence bear a lot of significance for Goans. The church was constructed in the 16th century and was dedicated to infant Jesus. Every ten years people are allowed to see the remains of St. Francis Xavier. A fine illustration of Jesuit architecture the exterior flaunts Doric, Ionic and Corinthian patterns. The front is embellished with carvings and pillars in the Baroque style. The dome has a symbol of the Society of Jesus built in basalt. There is also an art gallery inside the church which is the largest in Asia. The interior is designed in Renaissance style and the floor is made of marble and precious stones. The remains of St. Francis lies in a silver casket embellished with paintings from his life.
Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception
Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is another world heritage site in Goa. This church was built in 1540 and is situated in the Church Square in Goa. There is a bell inside the church known as the ‘Bell of Inquisition’ which was moved inside the church in 1841. It is one of the largest bells in India. The church looks beautiful in the evening when it is illuminated with light bulbs. Two altars inside the church are dedicated to Jesus and the Lady of Rosary. The interior bears wonderful intricate designs which are the hallmark of that era.
St. Cajetan’s Church
St. Cajetan’s Church was formerly known as the Church of Our Lady of Divine Providence. The church’s design has been inspired from the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. The interior is decorated following the Baroque style. The church has been built with laterite stone. It is dedicated to St. Cajetan and displays rich architecture. There are 3 altars dedicated to St. Cajetan, St. John and St. Agnes.
Se Cathedral is the largest Indian Church. Built to commemorate the triumph of Portuguese army over Indian army in 1510, the church was consecrated in 1640. The interior is built in Corinthian style whereas the exterior follows Tuscan style. The main altar is devoted to Catherine of Alexandria. Two important attractions inside the church are the Golden Bell and the baptismal font used by St. Francis for baptizing Goans.