Reis Magos Church, Goa

Very close to the Reis Magos Fort is the Reis Magos Church. It is the first church of Bardez. Reis Magos is the Portuguese name for the Three Wise Men from the Bible. The fort and the church got named after the village Reis Magos. This church is well known for the colorful ‘Festa dos Reis Magos’ which is the Feast of the Three Wise Men. The feast is held on 6th of January every year.

As I was stepping down and walking away from the church, I noticed two lion statues at either side of stone stairs. It surprised me a bit to see them at the entrance of a church. Much later after a good google search stumbled on the fact that the church was built on the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple. So these lions are evidence of that old temple. It is a sacred Hindu symbol that is typical of the Vijayanagar temple style. The church had much importance during the Portugal rule and in fact two Viceroys of Goa were buried over here and their tomb stones are still present.

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Massive repair work was on inside the church. It has some beautiful paintings. Probably the church is gearing up for the festival to be held on 6th Jan 2015. I took some quick snaps before somebody could appear and tell me ‘no photography here’. This church was built way back in 1555 and is dedicated to St. Jerome. The façade gets a beautiful white coating and the interiors are decorated well during the festival.

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