Goa is a land of churches, where the legacy of Portuguese colonialism is evident in the architecture and culture. One of the most remarkable churches in Goa is the Church of Francis of Assisi, located in the historic city of Old Goa famous location in Old Goa, Visit during Old Goa Sightseeing tour Package. This church is not only a place of worship, but also a museum that displays the art and history of Goa.
Location of Church of Francis of Assisi
The Church of Francis of Assisi is situated in the main square of Old Goa, along with other monuments such as the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the Se Cathedral and the Viceroy’s Arch. Old Goa was the former capital of Portuguese India and a flourishing city until it was abandoned due to plague and malaria in the 18th century. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction.
Timing/Entry Fees Church of Francis of Assisi
The church is open to visitors every day from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM. There is no entry fee for visiting the church. However, visitors are expected to dress modestly and maintain silence inside the church. Photography is allowed outside the church, but not inside.
How to Reach Church of Francis of Assisi
The church is easily accessible by road from any part of Goa. You can take a bus, taxi, auto-rickshaw or motorcycle taxi to reach Old Goa. You can also rent a car, bike or scooter to explore the area at your own pace. The nearest bus stand is about 1 kilometer away from the church. The nearest railway station is Karmali, about 5 kilometers away. The nearest airport is Dabolim, about 25 kilometers away.
Things to Do/Must See Church of Francis of Assisi
The Church of Francis of Assisi is a stunning example of Manueline style with elements of Gothic and Renaissance styles. The white facade of the church has octagonal towers on each side and a statue of St. Michael in the central niche. The main entrance is decorated with circular pilasters and rosette band.
The interior of the church is richly ornamented with frescoes, paintings, sculptures and inscriptions. The main altar has a large statue of St. Francis of Assisi and Jesus on the cross, with statues of St. Peter and St. Paul below. The nave has painted panels depicting scenes from the life of St. Francis of Assisi.
The convent section of the church houses an archaeological museum that was set up by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1964. The museum showcases various artifacts, sculptures, paintings and portraits related to the history and culture of Goa from prehistoric times to the colonial era.
Some of the highlights of the museum are:
- The bronze statue of Afonso de Albuquerque, the governor-general and captain of the seas of India, who played a key role in conquering Goa in 1510 CE.
- The diorama of prehistory of Goa, depicting the life of early humans who inhabited Goa about one lakh years ago.
- The model of ancient city of Chandor, based on the archaeological excavations conducted in the village of Chandor, which was the capital of Goa during the early historical times.
- The stone sculptures of Hindu deities such as Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, Lakshmi and Surya, belonging to the Kadamba period (12th-13th century CE).
- The hero stones and sati stones that commemorate heroic deaths in battles and self-immolation of widows on their husbands’ funeral pyres.
- The Persian and Arabic inscriptions that record the grants and donations made by Muslim rulers and nobles to Hindu temples and monasteries in Goa.
- The Portuguese weapons such as rifles, swords and daggers that were used by the Portuguese soldiers and sailors in their conquests and battles in India and abroad.
- The wooden and ivory sculptures of Christian saints such as Francis Xavier, Anthony of Padua, Catherine of Alexandria and John the Baptist that represent the art nurtured under the patronage of the Portuguese rulers of Goa.
- The metal bust of Shiva (popularly known as Manguesh) that belongs to the 17th-18th century CE. It was originally installed in a temple in Mangueshi village, but was moved to a church in Old Goa after the temple was destroyed by the Portuguese authorities.
- The portraits of governors and viceroys of colonial Goa that depict their official attire and insignia.
- The postage stamps that show various aspects of Goan culture such as festivals, dances, costumes, monuments and personalities.
Significance of Church of Francis of Assisi
The Church of Francis of Assisi is one of the most important churches in Goa that preserves and showcases its rich heritage. It is a testament to the faith and devotion of the Franciscan friars who established it in 1517 CE. It is also a reflection of the diversity and dynamism of Goan culture that has been influenced by various civilizations over time.
- Q: When was the Church of Francis of Assisi built?
- A: The Church of Francis of Assisi was built in 1661 CE by replacing an earlier chapel that was built in 1521 CE.
- Q: What is the style of architecture of the Church of Francis of Assisi?
- A: The Church of Francis of Assisi is built in Manueline style with elements of Gothic and Renaissance styles.
- Q: What is the name of the national poet of Portugal whose statue is displayed in the museum?
- A: The name of the national poet of Portugal whose statue is displayed in the museum is Luis Vaz de Camoes (1524-1580). He wrote an epic poem called Os Lusiadas (The Lusiads) that celebrates Vasco da Gama’s discovery of India.
- Q: What are some other attractions near the Church of Francis of Assisi?
- A: Some other attractions near the Church of Francis of Assisi are:
- Basilica Of Bom Jesus: A UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses The relics Of St. Francis Xavier
- Se Cathedral: The largest church In Asia that has a golden bell
- Church Of St. Cajetan: A church modeled after St Peter’s Basilica In Rome
- Viceroy’s Arch: A gateway built by Vasco da Gama’s grandson
- Museum Of Christian Art: A museum that displays Christian art objects
The Church Of Francis Of Assisi Is A Must-Visit Place For Anyone Who Wants To Experience The Beauty And Diversity Of Goan Heritage. It Offers A Glimpse Into Various Aspects Of Goan History Such As Religion, Art, Architecture, Literature, Warfare And Administration. Whether You Visit It During Day Or Night You Will Be Fascinated By Its Charm And Grace.