Churches in Old Goa

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Sé Cathedral is the largest church in Asia and is only one of numerous churches in Old Goa. It is a magnificent structure and must have been truly spectacular when the interior was still richly decorated and not white-washed as it is now. The remaining bell tower (the other one having been struck by lightning) houses the huge bell, which once tolled during the unspeakable autos-da-fe held during the Inquisition in this outpost of the Portuguese empire. Those are distant memories for the hundreds of Indian Catholics who were attending mass at the nearby (and wonderfully named) Basilica of Bom Jesus the day we visited. This was in preparation for the feast of St Francis Xavier, whose “incorrupt” body is kept in this church. We had a fascinating morning visiting some of the churches and museums as well as the Viceroy’s Arch with its commemoration of Vasco da Gama.

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