famous and magnificent churches are largely a legacy of Portuguese
colonization for the past 500+ years.
Church building was one of the main occupations of the early Portuguese
and in fact one of Vasco da Gama's main missions for finding the
sea route to India was to "seek Christians and spices".
Christianity was forced upon with religious fervor by the Portuguese
during the period of the "Inquisition" with wide scale
destruction of temples and this continued till the official end
of the "Inquisition" in Goa in 1812. Most of Goa's churches
were built on the very site of former temples. The confiscated lands
of the temples were handed over to the church and the communidades.
In fact, the first Hindu temple allowed to be constructed by the
Portuguese in 300 years was in 1818 at Panaji.
With a significant population of Goans being Christians for many
generations today, the Church is an important factor in Goa's social
, cultural and religious life. For example, the contribution of
the Church to education in Goa is immense. Today the churches are
all part of the Archdiocese of Goa and function with its help, many
are also protected sites.
The architecture of Goa's churches have undergone notable changes
with the passage of time and the fashion of the era that they were
The church architecture can be broadly broken down to the following