Church Of Mary Immaculate Conception
Established in the year 1541, the Church of Mary Immaculate Conception is one of the earliest churches built in Goa. Located in the heart of Panaji, this beautiful and majestic church is a prominent landmark of the city and also a popular and impressive landmark of Goa. A silhouette of the Mary Immaculate Church illuminated with thousand of bulbs shimmering against an inky dark sky is one of the most enduring images of the Panaji city, the church is usually decorated during feasts and also during Christmas & New Yesr.
The great bell at the Church of Mary Immaculate Conception is acclaimed as the second largest bell in the world. Known as the Bell of the Inquisition, this bell was previously a part of the Church of Our Lady of Grace in Old Goa. It was shifted to the Mary Immaculate Church in 1841, after Panaji became the capital of Goa. The interiors of the church are elegant yet minimalist.
The main altar dedicated to Mary Immaculate is flanked by two altars on either side. The left altar is dedicated to Jesus Crucified while the right one honors Our Lady of the Rosary. At the side of each altar is a marble statue, one of St Peter and one of St Paul. The Chapel of St. Francis Xavier, located to the south of the main altar, houses a glass-encased statue of him.
The church is visited usually in the evenings when one can see this monument in its full splendors to see it at dusk is a treat by itself. It makes a must visit if you are going to Goa.
On 8th December every year, devotees flock to the church in large numbers to attend the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The feast is a celebration of the conception of Lord Jesus by Mother Mary.