Basilica of Bom Jesus
During 50 AD , St. Thomas came to India and introduced Christianity first in Kerala. While the disciple of Jesus built a couple of churches, others too, like him, built several worship places of Christians all over the country, especially Southern India. While these were the first traces of Christianity in the country, centuries later, the Portuguese, French, Dutch & British too established several beautiful churches with exquisite architecture.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus church is one of a kind in India and is known for its exemplary baroque architecture. Built in the year 1594 and consecrated in 1605, the building of this church coincides with the beginning of Christianity in India. The church is located in Old Goa in Bainguinim about 10 km away from Panjim. The oldest church in Goa, Basilica of Bom Jesus holds the remains of St. Francis Xavier, a special friend of St. Ignatius Loyola with whom he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Even after 400 years, the remains are in a good condition and are taken out once every decade. A site with rich cultural and religious significance, the Basilica of Bom Jesus has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
This is one of the most popular churches in the world situated in Goa. Among several reasons, this church is famous for housing the preserved remains of St. Francis Xavier. Dating back to over 300 years ago, this structure bears the edifice of Baroque style with earliest Portugal influence.
The church which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is thronged by tourists from all around the world. The artistic rendition, murals, gold glided alter, and the marble flooring with precious stones and tinted windows at different times of the day makes the church a must-visit church in India.