Goa was conquered by the Portuguese in 1510 and remained a Portuguese colony until 1961. It was also the Portuguese capital of the Portuguese’s eastern empire and the centre for the catholic missions in Asia. It’s no wonder then that the majority of the monuments reflect this influence on their construction. So if you are in Goa a visit to some of these sites is a worthwhile excursion and in this article we will cover some of what we thinks are the best monuments to visit.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Yes this basilica located in Old Goa make it onto almost every travel blog you can find and for good reason, it’s in immaculate condition and is the final resting place of the body of St. Francis Xavier, Goa’s patron saint. PS: It’s said his body is as fresh as the day it was buried and if you’re lucky you may even be able to catch a glimpse of it at the public viewing that’s happening this year.
Church of St. Augustine
Considered to be one of the coolest of the old churches in Old Goa it has found its way onto many a magazine cover. The site houses what remains of a glorious 46m tall laterite tower and some remnants of the old church. The tower itself was supposed to be a bell fry and was one of four that made up the church.
Saint Pauls College
St. Pauls College was founded in 1542 and was the main Jesuit institution in India. It’s located to the south of the St. Cajetan’s church in Old Goa and was renowned for offering free education in various academic disciplines. The college also housed the first printing press in the country and also a hospital.
And in no way is this list complete places like Se cathedra: India’s biggest church, fort Auguda and the Mahadev temple are also places worth visiting. But if you haven’t come to Goa solely for its heritage sites then these should be more than enough to fill your quota of Portuguese Goa. It’s also worth mentioning that all the above mentioned heritage sites are easily accessible and frequent tours and guides are available either through the hotel itself or one of the many local tour agencies.
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