8:00 AM - Old Goa walk starts at Viceroy's Arch
The Viceroy’s Arch erected in 1599 by Viceroy Francisco da Gama was once the main street for entering Old Goa. It was built as a memorial to the achievements of Vasco da Gama, the famous explorer. Incidentally Franciso was the great grand son of Vasco de Gama!
St Catherine Chapel
Next in this Old Goa walk, we will visit St Catherine Chapel a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built by Alfanso De Albuquerque in 1510 when he defeated the local Muslim ruler Adil Shah on St. Catherine’s Day that is 25th November 1510. The Chapel has rectangular window panes of the Old Portuguese style dressed in mica shells.
St. Francis of Assisi
Eight Portuguese Franciscan friars landed in Goa in 1517 and established the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The Church follows a mixed construction style. Tuscan order has been applied for the exteriors, while the main altar has been built in rich Baroque style with Corinthian features.
Built in Manueline style, Se Cathedral was built to showcase the Portuguese’s victory over an invading Muslim army in the early 16th century. The day of that victory is celebrated as the Feast of Saint Catherine. In 20th century, the Pope Pius XII presented the honorary ‘Golden Rose’ to the cathedral, which is now placed on the tomb of Saint. Francis Xavier, inside the cathedral..
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the highlight of this Old Goa walk. It is one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in India. It holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier who along with St. Ignatius Loyola has founded the Society of Jesus. The Blessed Sacrament was earlier kept on the main altar under the statue of St Ignatius and now is preserved in a gold tabernacle.
St Augustine Tower
St Augustine’s tower was built in 1600. It is one of the four towers of St. Augustine Church that once stood at the site. The Tower was meant to serve as a belfry and the Church had eight richly adorned chapels & four altars and a convent with numerous cells.
Noon- Old Goa walk ends at Rosary Church
Rosary church is the oldest surviving church in Goa. Afonso de Albuquerque, while fighting the Islamic army of Deccan Sultanate, took a vow to build this church as a token of gratitude to Our Lady of Victory. Its striking features are high altitude windows and round towers which makes it look like a fortress.
We did the rediscover grandeur of old Goa walk and it was simply great. We had a very knowledgeable guide who helped us explain how Velha Goa was one of the best cities to live in the world in 16th century. The churches were incredibly beautiful and we also had some delicious Goan refreshments with our friendly and immensely knowledgeable guide. Thank you so much
It was a fantastic walk through old Goa. Ram picked us up from the vice Roy arch from where the Portuguese had entered Goa! It was lovely to be taken back 500 years back when old Goa was a global city. We loved the guidance of Ram as he was very knowledgeable and I was able to appreciate all the churches we saw much more in his company. Highly recommended