Among the many places to visit in Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus offers the best of Goa tourism and is something you shouldn’t be missing out on. A UNESCO world heritage site, tourists from all over the world come here to marvel at this ancient piece of work. Located in Old Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus was built during the Portuguese colonization. Although some of the church walls are now in ruins, it is still considered as one of the finest examples of baroque architecture. The church also contains the holy remains of St. Francis Xavier and gathers tourists from all over the world. The church’s foundation stone was laid on 24th November 1594. After the construction was completed, the then Archbishop of Goa, Fr. Alexia de Menezes consecrated the Basilica.
Along with St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier founded the Society of Jesus. He is believed to have had miraculous powers of healing. His body is allowed for public viewing every ten years. The church depicts Sir Francis Xavier’s life through paintings hanging across its walls. This makes it one of the most important places to visit in Goa.
Francis Xavier died on Sancian Island, Taishan during a voyage to spread the message of the Jesuits. His followers then took his body to the Portuguese Malacca. After nearly two years, they brought him back to Goa where he was buried and put to eternal rest. The Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa is a mark of his life and journeys.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus stands as a remarkable example of Baroque architecture in Goa. Of all the places to visit in Goa, its beautiful facade made of pure granite will delight you. The church boasts of a magnificent amalgamation of Corinthian, Ionic and Doric styles of architecture. The main entrance is accompanied with two side entrances, each made out of Corinthian columns. The church possesses two chapels, the main altar, and the sacristy. The church floor is made of white marble, while the interiors and other corners are laid down with precious stones. Intricate ornamental textures adorn the walls, and the entire building design flaunts the dexterity of its workers.
As you enter the gate, you’ll find St. Anthony’s altar to the right and St. Francis’s wooden statue to the left. A projecting gallery is also present which runs alongside the church on both sides. The two columns which support the choir have inscribed slabs in Portuguese and Latin. They portray the dates of the beginning of construction and consecration.
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