Do you know we are in the middle of the World Heritage Week? It started on November 19. There are many things that go into our India travel bucket list. But not many of us are aware that some of the most familiar places and sights are also examples of timeless architectural expressions, proof of human endurance, or part of our delicate ecological balance, qualities which have won them a place on UNESCO’s world heritage list. Here is our list of five such features.
Churches and Convents of Goa
Apart from visiting its beaches, no trip to Goa is complete without visiting the Church of Bom Jesus in Old Goa where the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier lies. But did you know that the casket (encasing the glass box with the body), built by Goan craftsmen in the mid-17th century, is considered a rare work of art, blending Indian and Italian styles? Old Goa or Velha Goa, the former capital of the Portuguese possessions in India, with its churches and convents, have now been put under the umbrella of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. So instead of rushing through them on a whirlwind tour, do spend time exploring them, learning about their architectural style, the artefacts within, and their history.
Together, the monuments are examples of Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art, and served as inspirations for other Asian countries, according to the UNESCO citation. Apart from the Basilica of Bom Jesus, other monuments include The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, the oldest church of Old Goa, Se Cathedral, Church of St Francis of Assisi, ruins of the Church of St Augustine, St. Cajetan Church, also known as the Church of Divine Providence, said to be designed after St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, etc.