South Goa churches: Monuments of a glorious past

The magnificent churches, monasteries, nunneries, chapels and seminaries of Goa are largely a legacy of the colonisation of the Portuguese. The churches in Goa reflect the cultural, social and religious life of Goa. They are marvellous structures having historic and architectural importance.

One can come across churches in south goa belonging to the 16th and the 17 centuries. The south goa churches are worth visiting. Some of the south goa churches are the Church of Holy Spirit in Margao, Rachol Seminary in Rachol and The Church of St. Alex in Curtorim.

Built in 1565, the Church of Holy Spirit is a great monument in the Indian Baroque style. The huge cross, which is a great attraction, dates back to the 17th century. Here is a central dome with towers on either side. The altar is heavily decorated and dedicated to St Michael and St Peter.

Located in Rachol, about 12 kilometres from Margao is the Rachol Seminary. Situated on the banks of River Zuari, the Portuguese originally built the Rachol seminary as a church in 1521, which was later transformed into a fortress and a prison. This was later converted into a seminary in 1606 by an order of King Sebastian of Portugal. Earlier Jesuit priests were trained here. The Rachol seminary became a great centre of learning in the subsequent years and one of its famous alumni is Fr. Thomas Stevens, who translated the Bible to Konkani language. The “Museum of Christian Art”, which is situated in the seminary, showcases the evolution of Christian /catholic art in Goa. Beside the Rachol seminary is the Rachol Parish church, which is dedicated to Nossa Senhora de Neves.

Another south goa church of attraction is the Church of St Alex. It lies in a quite village Curtorim and is one of the oldest churches in Goa.  It was built in 1597.

A visit to the goa is not complete without visiting the excellent churches, which are real monuments of a glorious past.

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