When somebody mentions a trip to Goa, historical places are not the first thing that comes to mind. Goa has made a name for itself as a popular party destination with beaches and clubs galore! On the other hand, Goa is also home to a lot of culturally significant churches and forts that have stood for centuries. There is something for every traveller here, be it pious or pure merriment. Here are a few historical places to visit in Goa, proving it is more than just beaches and parties (although there are quite a few of those to go around as well).
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church
Instantly recognizable by its signature zig-zag stairways, Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church is the first destination on our list of historical sites in Goa. Its spellbinding architecture is reminiscent of colonial Portuguese influences. Located in the capital - Panaji, this church was built in the 16th century and has served as a beacon of hope to visitors and patrons alike.
Built over 400 years ago to protect Portuguese interests from Dutch invaders, Aguada Fort and its adjoining lighthouse have seen countless friendly ships reach the safe harbour and enemy ships destroyed. Today, travellers can admire the splendour of what was, at one time, a standout example of Portuguese engineering and military defence.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Renowned as the resting place of St. Francis Xavier, a co-founder of the Society of Jesus, Basilica of Bom Jesus is located next to the Se Cathedral - which means two of the most historical monuments of Goa are right next to each other.
No trip to Goa is complete without a visit to the imposing Se Catedral de Santa Catarina, or Se cathedral for short. One of the largest churches in Asia, let alone India, it is the seat of the Archdiocese of Goa. The Portuguese ruler Alfonso Albuquerque won a battle against a Muslim army on the day of the feast of St. Catherine, which is why the cathedral is named in her honour.
Reis Magos Fort
Now reduced to a shadow of its once glorious and distinguished self, Reis Magos Fort is a 16th-century fort that has managed to retain some of its charms. It is now used as a cultural attraction instead of protecting the inhabitants of the city. It is one of the most frequented historical places to visit in north Goa and was used as a prison in the past.