Goa is famous for its historic churches, forts, traditional homes, colorful festivals, lush green countryside, rich flora and fauna, fabulous cuisine, and exotic beaches. The magical land of Goa is decked with popular tourist destinations like Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Tambdi Surla and Tiracol Fort, the Calangute Beach, the Baga Beach , etc. The Churches in Goa, as well, are a big crowd puller among the tourists from world over.
If you want a bit of history and culture then there is no better place to visit than the churches of Goa. The magnificent churches in Goa are mainly a legacy of Portuguese colonization, and in fact one of Vasco da Gama 's main motives for finding the sea route to India was to seek Christians and spices . With a considerable population of Goans being Christians, the Church is an important factor in Goa's social, cultural and religious life. Some of the major churches in Goa are the Basilica of Bom Jesu, Se Cathedral, Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the Church of St. Paul.
The Church of St. Paul was started as a seminary of the Holy Faith for training young converts by two priests Diogo de Borba and Miguel Vaz who had established the Santa Fé confraternity. The construction of the church began in November 1541 and was completed on January 25, 1543, the day of Feast of Conversion of St. Paul, to whom the church was dedicated.
Being in weak condition, the Church was demolished and the foundation stone for a larger Church with three naves was laid on 25th January, 1560. Three arches of magnificent dimensions covering the existing road were built under the supervision of Jesuit João de Faria 20 years later, and were popularly known as Sao
By the year 1827 the Church was in a quite dilapidated condition, and was finally completely demolished in 1829 by the Government except for the façade. The remaining arch of the façade of the Church lies on the road from Old Goa to Ponda just a short distance from the Gandhi Circle.