Church of Mary Immaculate Conception Goa

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.

Churches in Goa

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 Mary Immaculate Conception.

Church of Mary Immaculate Conception

Situated in Panjim in Goa, the Church of Mary Immaculate Conception is said to have been in existence by 1541, though its early church was re-built in 1619. After Panjim became the capital of Goa in 1841, the great bell of the Church of Our Lady of Grace in Old Goa (the Bell of the Inquisition) was transferred to this church from Aguada, and is now reputed as the world’s 2nd largest bell.

The interior of the church is quite simple in design. The main altar is dedicated to Mary Immaculate, while the other two heavily gilded and carved altars are dedicated to Jesus Crucified and Our Lady of the Rosary. Adjoining to these alters are the marble statues of St Peter and St Paul. The Chapel of St. Francis Xavier is posited in the south transept of the main altar with a glass-encased statue of him.

It is during the feast days when it is ideal to visit the church. The locals celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima at the end of May. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated every year in Margao and Panjim on 8th December.

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