Goa also has much to offer in terms of architecture. The tiny state is dotted with grand ornate churches which are living testimonies of its erstwhile Portuguese rulers. Most of the churches are found in Old Goa built in distinct Portuguese, European and Indo-European architecture. Having a sizeable Christian population, these churches today play an important role in the religious, cultural and social life of the people.
Basilica of Bom Jesus is the most well-known all Old Goa churches. It is famous for housing the sacred relics of St.Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Goa. Till 1994, the remains of the saint would be displayed every 10 years attracting thousands of pilgrims.
The intricate designs of the interiors are also worth seeing. The church and Old Goa, where it stands, has been declared a World Heritage Site.
Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is one of the key landmarks of Panjim. It is also one of the oldest churches in Goa with a distinct Baroque façade marked by two towers and Gothic style chairs. The bell of the church is the second largest in Goa. Many come to receive blessings here.
Reis Magos Church or Church of the Three Magi Kings is an imposing white structure visible from across River Mandovi in Varem. It is famous for the scene of the three magi paying respect to infant Jesus displayed at the centre of the altar. It was a former mission center of the Franciscan Order of Monks after its completion in AD 1555.
The Se Cathedral in Old Goa is the largest cathedral in Asia taking nearly eighty years to build. The church is dedicated to St. Catherine because it was on her feast day that Alphonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa. The bell of the church is the largest in Goa and on the right there is a Chapel of the Cross of Miracles, where a vision of Christ appeared in 1919.
Though mostly in ruins the Church of St. Augustine is one of the leading tourist attractions of the state. The only visible remains of this church is a 46 metre high tower. The church is located on the Holy Hill at Old Goa.
The Church of St. Francis is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. It is located in Old Goa in the same complex where Se Cathedral stands. The design of the church is spectacular and the adjoining Archeological Museum is a textbook on Goa's Golden era and its distant tribal past.
The St. Cajetan Church in Old Goa is an architectural splendor thronged by tourists who come to see the elaborately designed altars dedicated to the Holy Family, Our Lady Of Piety and St.Clare, St. Agnes, St. Cajetan and St. John. The church is based on the Basilica of St. Peter located in Rome.