Churches of Goa
One of Goa's important institutions, the famous and magnificent churches is largely a legacy of Portuguese colonization. Church building was one of the main occupations of the early Portuguese and in fact one of Vasco da Gama's main missions. The most visible legacy of the Portuguese is their churches, not only the imposing monuments, but also more typically white- washed facades nestling among palm trees. Goan Churches have a typical 16th century European architecture with Gothic style influence. The Baroque style architecture also has been heavily used in these churches, with exaggerated interior decorations and intricate details of ornamentation emphasized by gilding and accompanied by sculptured figures.
The important Churches of Goa:
St Francis of Assisi Church, Bom Jesus Basilica, Reis Magos Church, Church of Our Lady of Rosary, Sé Cathedral, St Augustine Tower, Church of St Cajetan, Church of Mary Immaculate Conception.
The St. Francis of Assisi Church
The church in Old Goa is dedicated to the original builder of this church, the origin of which can be traced back to 1517. A church consecrated to the Holy Ghost was built in 1521 and was later pulled down and the present church was built on the same spot in 1661 retaining only the entrance of the earlier church. The church faces west and has a nave with three chapels on sides, a choir, two altars in the transept and a main altar.
The exterior of the Church is of the Tuscan order while the main entrance is in Manuline style. The main altar is Baroque with Corinthian features. The internal buttress walls, separating the chapels and supporting the gallery on top, have frescoes showing intricate floral designs. There is a statue of our lady of miracles brought from Jaffna in Sri Lanka. In the main altar is a large statue of St. Francis of Assisi and an equally large statue of Jesus on the cross. Beneath the two figures are inscribed the three vows of the Saint - poverty, humility and obedience. There are many frescoes showing floral decoration in the main altar.