Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa

Basilica of Bom Jesus (literally, ‘Good (or Holy) Jesus’)in Old Goa is one of the oldest churches of India. It is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Goa may be known for its beaches and most tourists visit Goa just for beaches but this monument is definitely worth a visit. Built in 1594 and consecrated in May 1605, the monument is maintained well, though partially in ruins the remaining is still in good condition. It got the status of ‘minor basilica’ in 1946.

It was one of the week days when I was there so didn’t find many tourists around. The guide took us around explaining its origin and many little stories associated with the church. Below is a small virtual tour of the interiors of Basilica of Bom Jesus. As you enter to the right is an altar of St. Anthony, the work around it is very rich, the paintings around it are old and faded off.

To the left is this exceedingly well-carved wooden statue of St. Francis Xavier. The fine design on the pillars stunned me and to think it is more than 4 centuries old!


Here is the final resting place of St. Francis Xavier. He died on 3rd December 1552, on the Chinese island of Shangchuan, at the age of 46. His body was buried in three different countries. Each time the body was exhumed, it was found to be fresh. The sight of the holy body through the glass pane can be scary.

Lonely Planet mentions: The three-tiered structure is constructed of jasper and marble, flanked with stars, and adorned with bronze plaques that depict scenes from the saint’s life. The casket is designed by Italian Jesuit Marcelo Mastrili and constructed by local silversmiths in 1659, whose sides were originally encrusted with precious stones which, over the centuries, have been picked off.

The interiors are otherwise simple; even the ceiling looks quite bare. A projecting gallery, intended for the use of dignitaries on solemn occasions, runs along the two longer sides of the Church.

Our World Tuesday 

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38 Responses

  1. ladyfi says:

    How truly gorgeous!

  2. TexWisGirl says:

    incredibly detailed!

  3. A beautiful basilica!

  4. Sylvia K says:

    What an awesome, fascinating place, Indrani, and the detail is incredible! Such interesting info about St. Francis Xavier!! Amazing! Superb captures as always!! Hope you have a great week!!

  5. Shaivi says:

    I have been there when I was a kid and remember the crowd as they had taken out the holy body for public view that year. Nice capture

  6. oh this is spectacular, especially memorable for christians.

  7. Gail Dixon says:

    What a spectacular church!

  8. Cloudia says:

    Amazing building

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    =^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

  9. DeniseinVA says:

    You take us to some wonderful places Indrani, this is magnificent.

  10. Lovely captures and well laid descriptions. Appalled to know the facts about St. Francis Xavier's corpse!

  11. Awesome photos and post.

  12. Thanks for virtual tour of this magnificent Basilica ! The pictures are mind blowing.

  13. eileeninmd says:

    What a beautiful church! The details are gorgeous. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing. Have a happy day!

  14. Najm Nisa says:

    Look at those interiors ! So damn beautiful !

  15. Had been there once, St. Francis Xavier still mystifies me. Great clicks!

  16. The Basilica has gorgeous architecture!

  17. I come from Goa and still evertime I see the church I am stunned and discover something new. You have captured the essence extremely well.

  18. Definitely remember visiting as a kid. Your pics just brought back so many memories!

  19. I have visited this place but your post projected it so beautifully which I surely missed on my visit

  20. Great place, great pictures!

  21. colleen says:

    Together we covered fantastic inside and out. What a major work of art.

  22. Amazing photos… I wish to visit this magical place one day..

  23. George says:

    Thanks for the photo tour of this beautiful church and for the fascinating information about St. Francis Xavier.

  24. awesome photos and details.

  25. mridula says:

    The third picture looks truly stunning!

  26. Yoshi says:

    Glad to see beautiful photos of church in India. Thanks for sharing and commenting on my entry.

  27. Wow!!! Great Pictures. Just amazingly beautiful.

  28. Carver says:

    Great shots of the exquisite architecture.

  29. Al says:

    That's a beautiful basilica – such a sense of history there.

  30. Stunning photos, Indrani!

  31. The carvings are indeed awesome! Thank you for visiting this church and posting your photos.

  32. Jeevan says:

    Awesome captures and detail on the interiors! The church looks simple but seems quite worth visiting. Fabulous wood-carving and it sustained so well.

  33. Anna says:

    What a beautiful Basilica, Indrani!
    Gorgeous details…
    Greetings, Anna❀

  34. Mike says:

    Wow, that is beautiful. I love checking out places of worship when I travel. I would love to see this Basilica.

    Iowa Voice

  35. Sudhir R says:

    Hmm! Lovely photographs

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