Goa is not merely a destination, it is an experience. Among the numerous churches in Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a worthwhile exploration. This Portuguese piece of architecture is counted among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and mesmerizes all its visitors. This Jesuit Church is the first minor Basilica in India.
Location: Old Goa, Goa
- The exteriors of the church are not plastered and add an impressive, rustic feel to the entire structure. The surrounding parks are well maintained.
- With marble flooring, the ‘Mosaico-Corinthian’ interiors are simple and elegant. Covered with gold, the altar looks gorgeous.
- Besides the alter, there are two chapels, a sacristy and a choir.
- It houses the tomb and mortal remains of St Francis Xavier, one of the patron saints of Goa. Devotees even come to see the remains of the saint and surprisingly, even after 400 years, it is in a very good condition. The casket that contains the body is beautifully crafted out of silver. The public display last happened in 2004 and is held every ten years.
- Bom Jesus Basilica Art Gallery preserves some excellent pieces of art by Dom Martin, the Goan Surrealist painter.
- The museum on the first floor has paintings on the life of Saint Francis that can be visited with an entry fee of Rs. 5. The wooden sculpture of the museum is in itself a sight to cherish.
You can hire a guide for a deeper and interesting insight about the history of the Basilica of Bom Jesus. A must-see place in Goa, Basilica of Bom Jesus is open on all days.