Goa is a state in India that is famous for its beaches, nightlife, culture, and heritage. It is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. However, Goa also has some religious and architectural attractions that offer a glimpse of its history and spirituality. One of these attractions is St. Alex Church, which is located in the north of the state famous places in North Goa, Visit during North Goa Sightseeing.
St. Alex Church is a magnificent and ancient church that is dedicated to Our Lady of Hope. It is one of the oldest and largest churches in Goa and has a rich legacy and tradition. In this article, we will explore the location, timing, entry fees, how to reach, things to do, significance, and frequently asked questions about St. Alex Church.
Location of St. Alex Church
St. Alex Church is located in the Calangute village of North Goa district. It is situated about 15 km from Panaji, the capital city of Goa, and 37 km from Dabolim Airport, the nearest airport. It is part of a long stretch of coastline that includes other beaches such as Candolim, Baga, Anjuna, and Vagator.
Timing / Entry Fees St. Alex Church
St. Alex Church is open for visitors throughout the year. There is no entry fee or restriction for accessing the church. However, some activities and facilities may have their own timings and charges. For example, photography and videography are allowed inside the church but may require permission from the authorities. The church also performs various rituals and ceremonies throughout the day, such as mass (worship), confession (forgiveness), baptism (initiation), marriage (union), etc. The church charges a nominal fee for these services, ranging from Rs. 10 to Rs. 1000 depending on the type and duration of the ritual.
The church has different mass timings for weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The mass timings are as follows:
- Weekdays – 6:45 am (Konkani) 7:45 pm (Konkani) 4:30 pm (Konkani – On 1st Friday Mass and Holy Hour)
- Saturdays – 6:45 am (Konkani) 7:45 pm (Konkani) 6:00 pm (Konkani – Sunday Liturgy)
- Sundays – 6:15 am (Konkani) 7:30 am (Konkani) 9:00 am (English) 10:15 am (Konkani) 4:30 pm (English) 5:45 pm (Konkani)
How to Reach St. Alex Church
St. Alex Church is well connected by road and rail to major cities in Goa and India. The nearest railway station is Thivim, which is about 21 km away. From there, one can take a bus, taxi, or auto-rickshaw to St. Alex Church. The journey takes about 40 minutes by road. Alternatively, one can also take a train to Madgaon or Vasco da Gama stations and then hire a local vehicle to St. Alex Church. The journey takes about 1 to 2 hours by road.
Another option is to take a flight to Dabolim Airport and then take a prepaid taxi or a bus to St. Alex Church. The journey takes about an hour by road.
Things to Do / Must See St. Alex Church
St. Alex Church offers a lot of attractions and activities for visitors who are interested in history, culture, art, or religion. Some of the things to do and must see places in St. Alex Church are:
- Exploring the Church: St. Alex Church is a magnificent and ancient church that was built in the 16th century by the Franciscans. The church has a simple and elegant structure with white walls and a red roof. The church has two towers, a dome, and a cross on the top. The church also has a spacious and airy interior with wooden pews, altars, statues, paintings, and stained glass windows. The church also has a statue of St. Francis Xavier, who visited Calangute in 1549.
- Admiring the Art: St. Alex Church is also known for its artistic and aesthetic appeal. The church has several artworks that depict various scenes from the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ. The church also has some paintings that show the history and culture of Goa and its people. Some of the notable artworks in the church are:
- The Last Supper: This is a painting that shows the scene of Jesus Christ having his final meal with his disciples before his crucifixion. The painting is located on the main altar of the church.
- The Crucifixion: This is a painting that shows the scene of Jesus Christ being nailed to the cross by the Roman soldiers. The painting is located on the left side altar of the church.
- The Resurrection: This is a painting that shows the scene of Jesus Christ rising from the dead after his crucifixion. The painting is located on the right side altar of the church.
- The Assumption: This is a painting that shows the scene of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, being taken up to heaven by angels after her death. The painting is located on the dome of the church.
- Praying and Meditating: St. Alex Church is also a place where one can pray and meditate and feel closer to God and oneself. The church offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere that can help one relax and calm their mind and soul. The church also performs various rituals and ceremonies that can help one seek blessings and guidance from God. Some of the rituals and ceremonies that take place in the church are:
- Mass: This is a worship service that involves reading from the Bible, singing hymns, giving sermons, offering prayers, and receiving communion (bread and wine).
- Confession: This is a sacrament that involves confessing one’s sins to a priest and receiving forgiveness and absolution from God.
- Baptism: This is a sacrament that involves initiating one into the Christian faith by sprinkling or immersing them in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Marriage: This is a sacrament that involves uniting two people in a holy and lifelong bond of love and fidelity in front of God and witnesses.
- Eating and Drinking: St. Alex Church has a few stalls and shops that offer snacks and drinks to the visitors. One can find local Goan dishes such as bhaji pav (bread with vegetable curry), pao (bread), sol kadi (coconut milk with kokum), etc. as well as international dishes such as sandwiches, burgers, etc. One can also enjoy fresh coconut water, fruit juices, etc. at the stalls.
- Calangute Beach: Calangute Beach is another attraction that is located near St. Alex Church. It is a famous and beautiful beach that offers a variety of activities and attractions such as water sports, sunbathing, shopping, eating, drinking, etc. It is also a place that has historical and cultural significance such as St. Alex Church, Aguada Fort, Sinquerim Beach, etc.
Significance of St. Alex Church
St. Alex Church is not only a popular tourist destination but also a significant place for Goa and India. It has several historical and cultural significance that make it more than just a church. Some of the significance of St. Alex Church are:
- Legacy and Tradition: St. Alex Church is one of the oldest and largest churches in Goa and has a rich legacy and tradition. The church was built in the 16th century by the Franciscans and was dedicated to Our Lady of Hope. The church was also visited by St. Francis Xavier, who was one of the founders of the Jesuit order and a missionary who spread Christianity in Asia. The church also celebrates various festivals and feasts throughout the year, such as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, etc.
- Architecture and Art: St. Alex Church is also known for its architecture and art that reflect the colonial history and culture of Goa. The church has a simple and elegant structure with white walls and a red roof. The church has two towers, a dome, and a cross on the top. The church also has a spacious and airy interior with wooden pews, altars, statues, paintings, and stained glass windows. The church also has some paintings that show the history and culture of Goa and its people.
- Community and Service: St. Alex Church is also a place where one can find a sense of community and service. The church has various associations and groups that cater to different needs and interests of the people, such as youth, women, seniors, etc. The church also organizes various activities and events that promote social welfare, education, health, environment, etc.
Q: What are some of the safety tips and precautions to follow at St. Alex Church?
A: Some of the safety tips and precautions to follow at St. Alex Church are:
Follow the instructions and guidelines of the authorities and the guides.
Do not enter the church during the mass or other rituals unless you are a participant or a spectator.
Do not take photos or videos inside the church without permission from the authorities.
Do not litter or create nuisance at the church as it is a sacred place and a heritage site.
Wear modest and respectful clothes and shoes when visiting the church.
Beware of monkeys, dogs, and other animals that may be present at the church or nearby.
Q: What are some of the other attractions or places to visit near St. Alex Church?
A: Some of the other attractions or places to visit near St. Alex Church are:
Aguada Fort: This is a 17th century fort that was built by the Portuguese to guard the entrance of the Mandovi river. The fort has a lighthouse, a jail, and a church. The fort also offers a panoramic view of the sea and the sunset.
Sinquerim Beach: This is a beautiful and clean beach that is located near St. Alex Church. It is a good place for water sports such as surfing, windsurfing, sailing, etc. There is also a dolphin spotting tour that operates from Sinquerim Beach.
Anjuna Beach: This is a famous and beautiful beach that is located about 15 km from St. Alex Church. It is known for its hippie culture, flea market, trance music, and parties. It is a place where one can experience the alternative and bohemian lifestyle of Goa.
St. Alex Church is a splendid and sacred destination that offers a glimpse of the history and spirituality of Goa. It is a place where one can admire the architecture and art of the church, pray and meditate in the serene atmosphere, eat and drink at the stalls and shops, etc. It is also a place that has historical and cultural significance that adds to its charm and appeal. It is a place that can make one feel inspired and blessed. It is a place that is worth visiting at least once in a lifetime.