Churches and Convents of Goa History | Churches and Convents of Goa Architecture | Churches and Convents of Goa Timings and Travel | Churches and Convents of Goa UNESCO | Churches and Convents of Goa UPSC

Nestled on the southwestern coast of India, the tiny state of Goa beckons travelers with its sun-kissed beaches, rich cultural tapestry, and vibrant blend of traditions. Renowned for its relaxed ambiance, Goa is a captivating destination that offers a unique fusion of Indian and Portuguese influences. In this exploration, we delve into the multifaceted appeal of Goa, spanning its history, natural beauty, cultural richness, and modern allure.

Goa is famous for its beaches and seafood, But Goa is also famous for its ancient architecture built and left by the Portuguese. The Churches and Convents of Goa are given UNESCO World Heritage Site Status in 1986.

Goa has Portuguese influence because it was ruled by the Portuguese who came through the sea route in 1503, Vasco de Gama First reached Goa and then he heads to Calicut.

Portuguese is the majority of Roman Catholics, So their influence played a key role in Transforming Goa. As a part of their Gospel, They expanded their religion by Building Churches and Convents. These Convents are almost 400-500 years old.


Before the Portuguese Invasion, goa was ruled by Bijapur Sultanate as a Port city for Trading Spices through Ships, But Later when the Portuguese arrived they took over the City in 1510 by Portuguese general Afonso de Albuquerque. From then Portuguese started ruling goa and started infusing Calitholicism and Built many Churches and Convents.

The church buildings of Velha (Old Goa) located at the western coast of India have been constructed for the duration of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and convey with them the recollections and tangs of Portuguese occupation. The maximum complete amongst them are the Se’ Cathedral, Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi, Chapel of St. Catherine, Basilica of Bom Jesus; Church of Lady of Rosary, and the Church of St. Augustine.

The church of St.Cajetan is modeled at the authentic layout of St. Peter’s Church in Rome. The Church of Bom Jesus decorated with Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian pilasters display the utility of Classical order. The Se’ Cathedral constructed of dust and straw is a conventional instance of Renaissance structure with its Tuscan exterior, engraved pillars and pilasters, and Corinthian columns.

Paintings constant among panels with floral designs and statues delicately carved out of wood, embellish the altars. Most of them depict the pix of crucified Jesus, Mother Mary, and the Saints.

The church of Bom (infant) Jesus, with its exceptionally adorned ceilings and elaborately carved façade made from black granite, is one of the grandest Churches to be raised in Asia. Sarcophagi of illustrious Portuguese who have been linked with the spiritual existence of Goa are very interesting.

Goa’s history is a fascinating blend of indigenous Indian cultures and the Portuguese colonial era. The Portuguese first arrived in Goa in the early 16th century and established a colonial presence that lasted for over four centuries. This period has left an indelible mark on Goa’s culture, architecture, and way of life.

The legacy of Portuguese influence is visible in Goa’s architecture, cuisine, and religious practices. Old Goa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts stunning churches like the Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral, showcasing exquisite Baroque and Renaissance architecture. The charming streets of Fontainhas in the state’s capital, Panaji, still bear the European influence in their colorful houses and narrow lanes.


The Style and Architecture of Churches and Convents in Goa are no less than Wonder, The Catholic Style Churches, The Height of the Churches are simply spectacular. The Interiors of the Churches are very beautiful, The Wood Used for Carving Idols, Walls, Windows are very strong and still, they are intact without any deterioration.

Craftsmen from Europe are brought to build these Churches and Convents. The Tuscan Cathedral of Santa Catarina is the largest Church in entire Asia with 76m in length and 56m in width. The Churches are built all over Goa and Panaji.

Churches and Convents of Goa List

The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

This is the Oldest Church in Goa, Built-in the Unique Manueline Style in 1543, It is Still Standing and it was a parish church initially, and later in Architecture, a Mix of Gothic and Portugal Manueline Style was added.

Se Cathedral of Goa

Actually, this was the Oldest Church in Goa, Which was built in 1534 by Pope Paul iii, This was a small church and was rebuilt in 1561 and the Construction was going at a slow pace, Later it was completed in 1631. But Later in 1766, a huge storm struck goa and this church was destructed.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is just 10 km east of Panaji and was 16th Century Architecture, ” BOM JESUS ” means ” Infant Jesus”. This was started in 1594 and Completed in 1608. This was ranked as one of the World Nine Wonders of Portuguese in 2009.

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

The Church was actually Completed in 1521 But was Rebuilt in Manueline Style, The Facade is very High and is completely built with wood.

Chapel of Santa Catarina

when the Portuguese arrived they took over the City in 1510 by Portuguese general Afonso de Albuquerque. From then Portuguese started ruling goa and started infusing Calitholicism and Built many Churches and Convents. Chapel of Santa Catarina was built in 1534 and was granted Catherdral status by Pope iii.

Ruins of the Church of St. Augustine

The Augustinians arrive in Goa in the 16th century and built a church in 1597. The Church Collapsed in 1842 and what you see now in ruins.

Church of Divine Providence

The Theatines built a convent in Goa in 1639, Built the church in 1665.

Cultural Diversity

Despite its small size, Goa is a melting pot of cultures and traditions. The state is home to a diverse population, including Hindus, Christians, and a smaller Muslim community. This religious diversity is reflected in the numerous temples, churches, and mosques that coexist harmoniously.

The annual Carnival of Goa, a pre-Lenten festival, reflects the vibrant cultural fusion in the state. This colorful event features parades, music, dance, and elaborate floats, embodying the spirit of celebration that is integral to Goan life.


Goa is the most visited site in India, Both by national and international tourists, Almost 7 Million Tourists visited Goa in 2019. Because of its Hidden Beaches and Ancient Churches and Convents of Goa.

Culinary Delights

Goan cuisine is a delightful fusion of Indian and Portuguese flavors. The state is renowned for its seafood, with dishes like Vindaloo, Xacuti, and Balchão tantalizing the taste buds with a blend of spices, vinegar, and coconut milk. Feni, a locally distilled cashew or coconut liquor, adds a unique twist to the Goan culinary experience.

Modern Allure

While Goa’s history and traditions are deeply cherished, the state also exudes a modern vibe. Its beach towns and cities buzz with life, offering a range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to backpacker hostels. The nightlife in Goa is legendary, with beachfront shacks and nightclubs hosting parties that continue into the early hours.

Nature and Adventure

Beyond the beaches and nightlife, Goa offers ample opportunities for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Dudhsagar Waterfalls, and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary are havens for nature enthusiasts and trekkers. Water sports like parasailing, jet skiing, and scuba diving provide adrenaline rushes along the coast.

Climate Effect on Churches of Goa.

Climate Change didn’t affect the Churches of Goa, But as Goa is a Sea Side Town, Constant Storms over centuries destroyed many churches and washed away many convents, There are only a few left now. This is because Those churches or Convents were built by Wood.

Natural Beauty

Goa’s coastline stretches for about 100 kilometers along the Arabian Sea, adorned with a plethora of pristine beaches. These beaches are the heart of Goa’s allure, each offering a unique atmosphere. From the lively and bustling shores of Baga and Calangute to the tranquil, palm-fringed beaches of Palolem and Agonda, there’s a beach for every mood and traveler.

Best Season to Visit

Monsoon and Winter are best seasons to Visit Goa, Sept-Jan.

Click here for Guidelines


This Place was Granted UNESCO World Heritage Site Status in 1986, All groups of Churches and Convents were Given this status.

Conservation of this Site

As Many Churches are Old and some are in Ruins, This needs constant protection and renovations regularly to preserve this site from Destruction, As this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, It Gets funding regularly to Protect this site.

In 1999 Unesco formed a committee to preserve this site from destruction, Government of India also from its End Taking several steps to prevent this site.

Rate this post