Friday, 01 September 2017
There are technical differences between a chapel and a church, but both will celebrate your wedding. That makes the choice so much harder, for in Goa, breath-taking chapels and churches seem to appear at every corner.We’ve picked five of the best spots to choose your perfect wedding church in Goa for your nuptials that are not in famous Old Goa.
Our Lady of Piety, Margao
The chapel is plainly built, simple and neat but its location brings it to this list. Set atop the only hill in Goa’s southern town of Margao, the chapel overlooks swathes of verdant greenery that promise a lush tone if you set your date soon after the monsoons. Laterite stone steps form a neat platform outside the chapel that is perfect for pre- and post-ceremony wedding church photographs. Nuptials are best timed to end slightly before sunset, when you will be blessed with gorgeous backdrops.
St Lawrence, Aguada
Like a sentry looking over the cliffs, the Church of St Lawrence has stood a solemn witness to the political, military and economic goings on of Goa. Originally a small chapel catering to the spiritual needs of a few poor fisherfolk, it has blossomed into a beautiful church with a pergola at the edge of the cliff, the sea crashing onto the rocks below. You’ll be surprised by the photo-ops it offers, and even nuptials under stormy skies will see some stunning backdrops. This church has definitely earned its way to being the best wedding church in Goa.
St Sebastian, Fontainhas
Author William Dalrymple described Fontainhas as “a small chunk of Portugal washed up on the shores of Goa”. And so it is. Surrounded by this quaint ambience of heritage homes and quiet streets, the Chapel of St Sebastian gives the impression of a miniature. Built in 1818, it takes you back through the years with its intricately carved altarpieces and veneered wooden chests. Many couples still living in Fontainhas were married here, and this chapel is the perfect answer for an intimate ceremony and not exclusively for a wedding church.
St Anthony of Padua, Tiracol
War gave birth to this church way back in the 1700s, when the Portuguese Viceroy of Goa Dom Pedro Miguel de Almeida defeated the Maharaja of Sawantwadi to gain control of the strategic Tiracol Fort. Located within the fort, which is now converted to the Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel, the church is still functional and the ramparts offer a jaw-dropping view of the glistening Arabian Sea on one side and the unending crowd of swaying coconut palms on the other. It is as if time stopped still and stole your breath away. Looking for a wedding Church overlooking a cliff within a luxury hotel? Look no further.
Nossa Senhora da Penha da França, Penha da França
The wash of the river adds melody to the hymns sung here as this historic church continues to stun visitors with its beauty. Built on the banks of the River Mandovi, this most unique wedding church is named after Penha da França (Rock of France) in Lisbon, Portugal, reportedly after sailors survived a difficult voyage to Goa. The current structure was put up in 1655 and features a high vaulted ceiling and beautiful interiors. It overlooks the centuries-old Ponte de Linhares – a causeway to Ribandar – and the scenic island of Chorão.
Mae de Deus, Saligao
This church is the finest example of Neo-Gothic architecture in the region, and lit up on a peaceful evening, offers a stunning backdrop for wedding photographs. Built between the mid- to late 1800s, it features pointed spires and brilliant walls that are quite reminiscent of fairy tales. The statue of Our Lady in the courtyard carved from black stone contrasts beautifully with the white façade of the church. The magnificent altar, high ceiling and cool, quiet interiors make it one of the most sought after wedding church in North Goa.