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Shubhyatra >> Goa Yatra >> House and Basilica of Bom Jesus


Location : Old Goa
Architectural Style : Renaissance & Baroque Style
Originally Built In : 1585
What To See : Intricate Craftsmenship, Statue of St. Francis Xavier, Professed House

Basilica of Bom Jesus - Divinity In Purple And White

The Basilica of Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus

9 km east of Panaji on the banks of Mandovi river, nestles the medieval town of Old Goa. And in its heart, the Basilica of Bom Jesus blooms like the first flower of spring. Built in 1605, this church was elevated to the status of a minor basilica in 1946, and today ranks as the most important and frquently visited church in Old Goa. Renowned throughout the Catholic world, the Basilica of Bom Jesus houses the mortal remains of Goa's patron saint, St. Francis Xavier, who died while on a sea voyage to China on December 2, 1552. You will be amazed to see the magnificent architecture which was inspired by the now destroyed Church of St. Paul. The Basilica is dedicated to Infant Jesus and is now listed in the World Heritage Monument list.

Architecture For Your Eyes, Pleasure For Your Soul

The three-storeyed facade of Basilica of Bom Jesus, one of the richest in Goa, affords intricately carved basalt embellishments. The sacred place of worship was designed by two priests, Diogo de Borba and Minguel Vaz and displays an impeccable work of Renaissance architecture. Walk around the leviathan coloumns, decorated with frescoes and inlay work, upto St. Francis Xavier's casket and no doubt you will experience sheer magic in impressive craftsmenship. Considered as one of the best examples of baroque architecture in India, the white marbled church houses a carved basalt medallion depicting the emblem of the Society of Jesus at the apex.

As you will enter the rectangular nave, you can see the statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, and below it, a small statue of the Infant Jesus, the patron of the church, only adds to devotion. To the left is an exceedingly well-carved wooden statue of St. Francis Xavier, nestling beneath the choir. Once in every 10 years, the Church allows devotees to see the embalmed body of the saint, which lies in an airtight glass coffin placed in a silver casket crafted by a 17th century Florentine sculptor, Giovanni Batista Foggini. The saint is believed to have miraculous powers of healing, and one can see pilgrims from all over the country, clustering around the precincts to offer prayers. Opposite the cenotaph, projecting on the southern wall is a elegantly carved wooden pulpit with a canopy at the apex. The pulpit has on its three sides the figures of Jesus, the four Evangelists - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The bottom of the pulpit depicts seven figures, flying angels as though supporting it on their wings. Remember to visit the Professed House, better known as the 'Casa Professa' of the Jesuits. The resplendent edifice made of black granite was built in the late 16th century and is linked to the Basilica by a colonnaded arcade.

Drive Your Way

This sacred site of worship is located just opposite the Se Cathedral in Old Goa. This small patch of virgin land is situated on the banks of the serene Mandovi River in east Tiswadi Taluka in Central Goa. Drive comfortably on NH 4A, which begins as the Ribander Causeway, runs east along the Mandovi River, through the rustic and continues south-east to Ponda. For more tourist related information contact GTDC, Old Goa Tourist Hotel, behind Police Station, near Gandhi statue. The Basilica is open from 6 am till 6:30 pm, so take care of your timings.

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Top 5 Reasons to Visit House and Basilica of Bom Jesus

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Blessings In White Marble
When in Old Goa for a holiday vacation, visit to the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Nestling in the picturesque quarters of Old Goa, the church is one of the most important and frquently visited churches in India.

The Church of Elegance
The Church displays an impressive signature of Baroque art in its intricately carved coloumns and elegantly designed altars. Wander around the church precincts and you will be amazed to see how Renaissance architecture comes to life before your eyes.

The Faith That Heals
Renowned throughout the Catholic world for its sanctity, the Basilica houses the sacred relics of Goa's patron saint, St. Francis Xavier. Embalmed in an air-tight coffin, the saint is said to have miraculous healing prowess and pilgrims come from all over the country.

A Devotion In Black Marble
After you have visited the main altar, it is now time to see the Professed House. Made of black granite in the late 16th century, the house is embellished with exquisite wooden carvings and paintings, depicting the scenes from the life of the Saint.

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