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Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

There are many famous churches in Old Goa. Among the beautiful old churches in Goa, Church of Our Lady of the Rosary is the oldest surviving church. This church is a reminder of the Golden Era of church building in Portuguese rule.

The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary is located atop the holy hill, Monte Santo. This church stands on the site where the Portuguese leader Alfonso de Albuquerque defeated the Bijapur Sultan in the year of 1510. This church is believed to be a sign of victory and gratitude.

The Old Goa where this church is situated is like the spiritual hub of the state and has many architectural masterpieces. Since this place has many archaic churches, this place has been declared as a world heritage site by the UNESCO. When this place became a Portuguese colony many beautiful churches were built as a token of victory of annexing Goa. The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary is also a symbol of victory and marks the historically important conquest, the first ever victory in Goa by Portuguese.

This church, which was built back in 1544, is one of the oldest churches in Goa. The church is situated on a beautiful hillock overlooking the Mandovi River and the Divar Island. A road beside the famous Basilica of Bom Jesus leads you to this exquisite church.

This church was raised to the status of a church only in 1543 and Franciscans were entrusted with the authority. People revere this place because of its connection with St Francis Xavier who used to preach here. Annually a day of festivity is held at this church when various dances, shows of music bands, and fêtes are arranged here. Beauty of this church lies in its simple design. This church is a superb example of Manueline style of church architecture. The architecture reminds you of a fortress with its solid build. It is in laterite and is plastered with mortar. Gothic influence is clearly visible and this building.

The church is in cruciform shape with a square apse. There is a choir gallery above the entrance. This church has two chapels and three altars with the main altar dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary. The main altar has some delicate motifs carved on it. The decorations of foliage emanating from a vase clearly indicate the Hindu influence on this architecture. The cenotaph of the Dona Catarina which is to the right of the altar is decorated with carved miniature pillars. These pillars bear some Portuguese inscriptions. The triangular pediment is capped by shell moldings.

If you are on visit to Goa then don't miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful churches. The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary is a must see tourist attraction. This church is sure to give you a faint idea of the golden era, when the various styles of church architecture flourished, reflecting a strong undercurrent of pluralistic culture.

 

Last Updated On: 2011/07/01

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