The Basilica of Bom Jesus is the most august and famous of all the churches in Old Goa. It contains the relics of St.Francis Xavier, Patron saint of Goa, Apostle of the Indies. He was known as Goencho Saib by most of the people of Goa. The construction of the church began on the 24th November 1594 AD from the funds bequeathed for this purpose by Dom Jeronimos Mascarenhas. It was blessed by the Archbishop Dom Fr Aleixo de Menezes on the15th May1605 AD. It became the first church in India to be elevated to the status of a minor basilica in 1946.
The three storey structure is combination of Doric, Corinthian and Composite style of architecture from the exterior. It is built of black laterite stone. The façade is divided into four parts. The lowest part contains three graceful entrances. The part above it has three large windows corresponding to the three entrances. The third section has three circular windows and the fourth part forms a quadrangle decorated lavishly with arabesque. All the sections are decorated with pillars and carvings on basalt brought from Bassein in north Goa. The interior of church is made of Mosaic-Corinthian style and is noteworthy for its simplicity. Three rows of windows are rising one over another from each side besides those of the choir and corresponding circular ones. The windows in the second row have a protruding balcony skillfully attached to them. The entrance is beneath the choir and is supported by columns. The body of the Basilica is spacious.