Old Goa, Goa

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  • Inside Church - Old Goa
    Inside Church - Old Goa
    by Donna_in_India
  • The relics of St. Francis Xavier
    The relics of St. Francis Xavier
    by toonsarah
  • Cathedral, Old Goa
    Cathedral, Old Goa
    by toonsarah
  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Old Goa (World Heritage Site)

    by Donna_in_India Written Aug 12, 2011

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    Old Goa was he site of the Portuguese capitl until the mid 18th century. Today is it a magnificent complex of churches, monasteries, and cathedrals that cover a 1.5 km stretch. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Two of Goa's most important religious monuments, the Basilica de Bom Jesus and the Se Cathedral, are located in the complex. Some of the other buildings within the complex include: Our Lady of the Rosary, Royal Chapel of St. Anthony, Church and Convent of St. John the God, the Church and Monastery of St. Augustine, and the Archaelogical Museum.

    The feast of St. Francis Xavier is held each year on December 3rd.

    Come early in the day as the sun becomes very hot. Wear sunscreen, bring water, sunglasses, and a hat.

    See my other Old Goa tips for further information about specific churches.

    Inside Church - Old Goa
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  • Justin_goa's Profile Photo

    Old Goa (Velha Goa)

    by Justin_goa Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    At one time a byword for splendour, with a population of several hundred thousand sand, Goa's erstwhile capital, OLD GOA (Velha Goa), was virtually abandoned following malaria and cholera epidemics that plagued the city from the seventeenth century onwards. Today you need considerable imagination to picture the once-great capital as it used to be. The maze of twisting streets, piazzas and ochre-washed villas has gone, and all that remains are a score of extraordinarily grandiose churches and convents. Granted World Heritage Status by UNESCO, Old Goa today attracts bus-loads of foreign tourists from the coast and Christian pilgrims from around India, in roughly equal numbers. While the former conic to admire the gigantic facades and gilt altars of the beautifully preserved churches, the main attraction for the latter is the tomb of St Francis Xavier, the renowned sixteenth-century missionary, whose remains are enshrined in the Basilica of Bom Jesus

    Church of Bom Jesus Relics of St. Francis of Assissi Courtyard inside the church complex SE Cathedral Interior of the church of St. Francis of Assisi
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    Old Goa - Views over Mandovi River

    by Willettsworld Written Sep 19, 2009

    These are the excellent views over the Mandovi River from the hill where the Church of Our Lady of the Mount is located. You can see the large ships going up and down the river plus a bridge that takes the main railway line up to Mumbai.

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    Old Goa - Views over Old Goa

    by Willettsworld Written Sep 19, 2009

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    These are the excellent views from the hill where the Church of Our Lady of the Mount is located. From here you can see the churches of Old Goa in amongst the tropical trees and the views over the Mandovi River. It's best to come here in the morning so that the sun shines towards the west.

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    Old Goa - General

    by Willettsworld Written Sep 19, 2009

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    Old Goa or Velha Goa ("Velha" means old in Portuguese), is located 9km (5 miles) east of the state capital, Panaji. It's famous for the number of fine Portuguese churches that were built here between the 16th and 18th centuries which now form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Before they were built, the area was occupied in the 15th century by the rulers of the Bijapur Sultanate who used it as their second capital ruled by Ali Adil Shah. It was then captured by the Portuguese, and was under their rule from 1510 as the administrative seat of Portuguese India. By 1543, the city had a population of some 200,000 and this population helped build a dozen churches, chapels and a cathedral before being largely abandoned due to malaria and cholera in the 17th century, leaving a population of just 1,500 in 1775. The viceroy then moved to Panaji and the city was then virtually deserted following religious suppression in 1835 but continued to be the Goan capital until 1843.

    Strangely, nothing of the city remains, but instead, all of the churches except one remain intact to this day and are breathtaking. Standouts include the Church of St Francis of Assisi, the Se Cathedral and the Basilica of Bom Jesus which holds the remains of St Francis Xavier, who started the Jesuit order. The churches are a huge attraction and, as I love religious architecture, were a great sight for me to visit whilst in Goa. Even if you're not into this sort of thing, you should just come along off the beach for a morning or afternoon in order to witness some great history and architecture.

    Se Cathedral St Francis of Assisi Church Basilica of Bom Jesus Ruins of the Church of St Augustine Church of St Cajetan
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    PLACES: Old Goa

    by Rupanworld Written May 29, 2009

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    This is the town of Goa where the Portuguese first landed. It was the early capital of Portuguese Goa, but later, due to the frequent outbreak of epidemic, the capital was shifted from here to Panjim. This town is 10 kms away from Panjim. Most of the historical monuments built by the Portuguese are located here and it has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The main attractions in this town are the Basilica of Bom Jesus Church, Se Cathedral, Chappel of St. Francis Assisi, St. Augustine Church, Church and convent of Santa Monica, Velha Goa Church, St. Cajetan Church, Adil Shah's palace gate, Viceroy's Arch etc. It is situated on the bank of river Mondovi. The town is very beautiful.

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    Old Goa

    by toonsarah Updated Feb 5, 2009

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    A little inland from Panjim, the present-day capital of Goa, is the complex of historic buildings known as Old Goa. This is a UNESCO world heritage site, famous for its opulent buildings and churches, regarded as some of the best examples of Portuguese colonial architecture in India. We took a taxi from Baga in order to explore.

    The main building we went to was the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the most revered of all the old churches here. It contains the relics of St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Goa, and is a focus for Christian pilgrims from all over India and beyond. It was built between 1594 and 1605. It is fairly simply in style but impressively large. The focus of attention is of course the tomb of St. Francis Xavier, and on top of it the silver casket which contains his relics. This dates from the mid 17th century and is ornately carved. Some panels though have been removed to allow pilgrims (and tourists) to view the relics inside. My photo (no 2) is very dark but may give you an idea of how it looks.

    When we were in the Basilica some workmen were carrying out repairs to the side walls so there was some scaffolding on place, but this didn’t mar our appreciation of the structure. On the contrary; we enjoyed watching them at work and admiring their craftsmanship.

    Opposite the Basilica, on the other side of the main road, is the Cathedral, an impressive colonial style building whose pale walls seemed to gleam in the hot sun. This is the largest church in Goa, India and reportedly all of Asia. It took about 90 years to build, being completed in 1652, and is the third cathedral on this site. Prior to that, it is thought that a Hindu temple or perhaps a mosque occupied this spot.

    Apart from the churches little remains of Old Goa, which lost its position as capital of the state in 1843. Since then many of the buildings have sadly been allowed to fall into disrepair, but the grandeur and sheer number of the churches gives the visitor at least a sense of how important a city this once was.

    Cathedral, Old Goa The relics of St. Francis Xavier Workmen in the Basilica of Bom Jesus
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    Old Goa

    by mwat Written May 26, 2008

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    Old Goa lies about half an hour’s drive from Panjim. The St. Catherine Cathedral and the Basilica of Bom Jesus are particularly striking with Tuscan style interiors, Corinthian exterior and stunning carved pillars and old, heavy doors. The Basilica of Bom Jesus holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier and is ornately covered in all gold

    On the way to Old Goa
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    Old Goa

    by regina.williams Written Oct 24, 2007

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    This World Heritage Monument was constructed in 1695. It has surfaced as a milestone in the history of Christianity. The name Bom Jesus basically means "good Jesus" or "infant Jesus". The Bom Jesus Church contains the body of St. Francis Xavier, a member of the Society of Jesus, who came to India with the Portuguese to spread Christianity in India. He is often credited for baptizing various people in Goa and he also preached the teachings of Jesus. While on a sea voyage to China, St. Francis Xavier died, on December 2, 1552.

    The following year, while relocating Francis Xavier's remains to Goa, in agreement with his wishes, it is said that the body was as fresh as the day it was buried. The news reached the Vatican where the title of Saint was bestowed upon the priest. The remnant attracts a huge number of devotees and believers from all over the world, especially during the "Exposition" public viewing of his body every ten years on the 2nd of December, which is the death-anniversary of Saint. The saint is said to have miraculous powers of healing, and pilgrims come from all over the country. The body of the saint has been kept in a beautiful silver casket.

    The Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the richest churches in Goa. It is carpeted with marble flooring and inlaid with valuable and rare gems and stones. The interior of the Church is simple except for the highly structured gilded altars. The Church also has kept paintings of St. Francis Xavier. The Tomb of St. Francis Xavier was the gift from the Grand Duke of Tuscan.

    St Xavier's Chruch
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    Old Goa

    by regina.williams Written Oct 24, 2007

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    The Church of St Augustine was built in 1602. Twelve Augustan Friars combined their efforts and resources built the church on the Holy Hill at Old Goa in September 1572, which was completed by 1602. The Portuguese government later issued a ban against them. So they abandoned the church and the convent besides it. The church and the convent both are ruined now. However, the soaring 46-metre high Bell Tower still remains and forms a major segment of the ruins.

    The bell was removed and was put in the church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception at Panaji in 1871. Quite amazingly, it is in working condition even today. The bell tower that remains amid the ruins belongs to one of the four of the St. Augustine Church's that once stood there. In the former days there used to be four altars, eight chapels and a convent attached to the church. The Church of St Augustine, when it was undamaged, was considered to be the largest in Goa.

    The facade and half of the tower fell in 1931 and in 1938 some more parts gave way. After being uninhabited by the founders, the convent was used for charity work by the institution of the Misericordia for quite a while. The vault collapsed on 8 September 1842 due to prolonged neglect. The Government then sold the materials of the remains of the church in 1843 and has maintained the few ruins till today.

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  • nora_south_africa's Profile Photo

    Visit old Goa

    by nora_south_africa Written Jul 22, 2007

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    Visit old Goa, if you love old churches, or beautiful buildings this is the place to be, I did find the stalls here more expensive than in some other parts of Goa, But its really nice to spend a day roaming around old Goa. I have included some pic of old Goa that are of the river area, think many ppl have pics of all the churches so wanted to show you something different, old goa lies next to this river, and you drive all along it till you reach panjim.( the road sort of looks as though its built on the river) right on the edge.

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  • bpwillet's Profile Photo

    Old Goa

    by bpwillet Written Dec 27, 2005

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    Old Goa was the capital of the Portuguese colony. It is situated 9km east of the current capital city of Panaji. This is a MUST see when you come to Goa and one of Goa's prime historical sites. Dotted with churches from the 1500's most are museums but some are still in use for services.

    Here, a Portuguese port began making use of the Mondovi River. Goa Velha was the original site of a Portuguese settlement but was vulnerable to attack and the port silted up making it unusable. Goa had become a Muslim sultan named Yussuf Adil Shah. He built a palace and the city began to thrive. He was also the resistive force to Portuguese settlers under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque. This began the religious conversion and building of much of the infrastructure, all based on European models. The city began to expand and the old city walls were removed. Over the next few centuries disease and the decline of Portuguese supremecy caused the city to fall in population and importance. The viceroy of Goa began building a new capital city in Panaji in 1759. The city was ordered rebuilt but the project was abandoned when missionaries were called back to Lisbon and the death toll amongst the workers was too great.

    Most of the remaining buildings were restored, which could be, and their former uses were also restarted.

    Se Cathedral and Church of St. Francis Assisi Ruins of St. Augustine-Old Goa Interior of St. Francis de Assisi-Old Goa Viceroy's Arch-Old Goa Gateway to Adil Shah's Palace-Old Goa
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  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo

    Old Goa

    by BluBluBlu Written Jul 27, 2005

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    This is the old capital of Goa...nowadays its a relatively small town...but its many churches gives away how important it once was. Its been cleaned up in recent years and the areas around the main churches are much better layed out. Other than the churches main things to look out for are the Viceroys Gate, and the Gate of Adil Shahs Palace.

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    Old Goa

    by catkin Written May 23, 2005

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    Old Goa is on the south bank of the Mandovi river just a few miles from Panjim.
    Many Goans are catholic due to the Portugese influence and Old Goa is probably the spiritual capital.
    There are two major churches here, Se Cathedral and the Basilica of Bom Jesus-both of which are worth a look at.

    Old Goa

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    Old Goa

    by grandad Written Apr 23, 2005

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    A taxi drive to Old Goa will provide a unique experience if you enjoy seeing old religious buildings. religious relics etc.
    There are two main churches including the Church of Bom Jesus, (Baby Jesus), which contains the apparantly non-decomposed body of Francis Xavier, which is jut visible through glass panels in the coffin above an altar area. The coffin is opened every 10 years for worshippers to view the body! Apparantly Francis has only one arm as one was chopped off to be taken to Rome as the Catholic "HQ".
    Across the road are more church areas and an interesting museum which contains a number of historical items.
    SEE TRAVELOGUE FOR MORE OLD GOA

    Church of Bom Jesus
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