New Year eve is celebrated around the world in so many different ways. Some welcome New Year with prayers, some with parties and some others by visiting exotic locations. If you happen to be in Goa, the land of fantastic beaches, sun-kissed sands, magnificent mountains, a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Basilica of Bom Jesus should not be missed.

basilica of bom jesus church old goa

This photo, “Basilica of Bom Jesus” @Flickr from Ramesh_Lalwani made
available under an attribution license

The Bom Jesus Basilica is the most famous church in Old Goa, which was the capital of Goa, during Portuguese rule. The church is dedicated to Infant Jesus and is elegantly decorated. Construction of this church began in 1594 AD and it was consecrated by the Archbishop Dom Jeronimos Mascarenhas in 1605.

The Basilica holds mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, Friend of St. Ignatius Loyola, Founder of Society of Jesus, Patron saint of Goa and Apostle of the Indies.  It is said that the holy relics of the saint are displayed for public viewing once in every ten years (last held in 2004) during the anniversary of the saint’s demise.

This church is constructed in ‘Baroque’ architecture (which includes broad, wide windows, usage of 3-Dimensional realistic paintings along with architecture) which is unique. The floor of the church is exquisitely made of marble and is embedded with precious stones. The elaborate gilded altars and various paintings depicting scenes from the life of St. Francis Xavier are a wonderful sight to behold.

This elegant church has the famous, Bom Jesus Basilica Art Gallery. The gallery contains various paintings by the famous Goan surrealist painter, Dom Martin. They are an excellent feast to the eyes.

A tour of Goa is never complete without a visit to this Basilica. Many people from far and wide are attracted to this monument. A visit to the Basilica of Bom Jesus leaves a deep sense of satisfaction in every one.

Church Timings – The visiting hours are from 9 am to 6.30 pm each day. On Sunday, the visiting hours are from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm.

Nearby Sterling Holidays Resort: Goa – Villagio & Goa – Club Estadia

Distance from Villagio: 29.1 km, 47 mins

Distance from Club Estadia: 14.0 km, 27 mins

Closest City: Panjim – 33 km

Other nearby attractions in Goa

  • Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary – 4.1 km
  • Candolim Beach – 9.1 km
  • Baga Beach – 10.2 km
  • Fort Aguada – 13.1 km
  • Chapora Fort – 13.8 km
  • Anjuna Beach – 14.1 km
  • Shree Shantadurga Temple – 28.7 km