Reis Magos Church, Reis Magos

Church of Reis Magos is a major landmark of a village Verem, Goa. White splendid structure of the church can be easily seen from across the Mandovi River upstream. St. Jerome is the patron of the church. The church was erected by the Franciscan Friars in the mid 16th century. Franciscan friars, who then were in-charge of the missionary work of the Reis Magos town, undertook the church in their hands and built a seminary there.

Important Note:
Annual feast of the church is held on 6th January every year.

Interesting Facts About the Church

  • The Reis Magos church is a part of the famous and splendid Reis Magos fort, and the church was built soon after the fort was constructed.
  • Reis Magos church is also known for its legendary association to the various Franciscan dignitaries. The church was then used for missionary purposes.
  • This is the first church to be built in entire Bardez Taluka.
  • The Reis Magos church and its seminary came up as a preferred learning institution.
  • The church is claimed to be the exact location of the entrance of Alfonso de Albuquerque; to the Goan land in 1510. This claim makes the church all the more special.
  • Presence of the Hindu temple symbols in this church make an interesting appeal for the tourists. There are two large statues of lions at the bottom of the stairs; which is a traditional symbol of Vijayanagar temple architecture.
  • Role and significance of the church to the Portuguese rule in that time is reflected by the tomb and burial of the two Viceroys inside this church.
  • This church falls in the category of one of the most preserved Goa churches.

How to Reach Reis Magos Church
Reis Magos as a part of the Bardez taluk, in North Goa district is well connected with the roadways. Banked by the side of Mandovi River, falling just before the grand bridge of Panjim city; the church is fairly accessible from Old Goa and any part of Goa. The church lies by the side of main road connecting Calangute and Candolim beaches. You can easily avail a line of public or luxurious private transportation to reach the church. If you are driving down there on a motorbike, first you need to reach Verem Bazar and then further take a turn by a Hindu tree temple, which will lead you to the Reis Magos church.

Dabolim (30km from Panjim) is the nearest airport, from where by hiring a taxi you can easily reach the location.

Two nearest railway stations are at Vasco da Gama and Margao.

Reis Magos attracts people from various parts of the country and abroad. And if you are staying in Panjim, you can take a ferry boat ride to cross the Mandovi River and reach the church.

Nearby Accommodation Facilities
Reis Magos church lies on the other side of Mandovi River from Panjim. You can thus comfortably take a stay in Panjim as the city is in close vicinity of the church. There you can find a line of well furnished hotels with all luxuries and amenities. The best rated hotels of Bardez, offering you a close stay near the church are:

  • Cambay Beach Resort Goa
  • Resorte Marinha Dourado
  • Capella Homestay
  • Purple Valley Yoga Centre
  • Ashirwad Hotel Bardez
  • Dolphin Bay Hotel
  • Presa Di Goa
  • Olaulim Backyards
  • The Sol
  • Coco Beach Village

Accommodation in Goa is never a problem but getting your booking done in advance is advisable to avoid any sort of hustles during your vacation.

Major Attractions of the Church
At the base of well known Reis Magos fort of Verem stands the Reis Magos church. This church is one of the significant churches that Goa is famous for. As per the legend associated with this church, the church has been erected on the site of a ruined ancient Hindu temple. This claim is profoundly supported by the remains of Vijayanagar temple which we can clearly see there, even today.

Architectural Appeal
Constructed in the year 1555, this church has been built in the memory of Reis Magos or the Three Magi Kings. Reis Magos church has splendid gabled façade and a high rising altar. Two towers were erected and added to both the sides of façade in the year 1764. In 1771, the church was completely renovated from inside. Church has a splendid flight of broad stairs. There is a small shrine near the beginning of the stairs, which is consecrated to Our Lady of Hope. The church inside has colorful Baroque work with bright colorful interiors and exquisite Portico. Tomb of the Viceroy Dom Luis De Ataide’s lies north of the nave of the church and the tombstone can be seen set in the floor of the corridor.

Artistic Appeal
Outside the Reis Magos ?church is a splendid structure with elegant whitewash, which together makes the church very appeasing. Below the crucifix at the top of the church gable, there is an imprint of the Portuguese coat of arms of royal order. This symbol reflects the status and role of the church at that time. Interior of the church has a beautiful line of carvings and paintings in multicolor. The major attraction of the interior is the colorful wooden artwork done all around and in church supports. The most outstanding work is the painted reredos. The main altar of the church has been venerated with a wooden relief with engravings and painting representing the ancient tale of the Three Magi Kings from the Bible. Bottom of the stairs feature an engraving saying ‘Yali Balustrades’ at its sides.

Aesthetic Appeal
The Reis Magos church is dedicated to the three wise men of the bible, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. The annual feast of the church known as the ‘Festa dos Reis Magos’ or ‘Feast of the Three Wise Men’ is celebrated with lots of zeal and enthusiasm. The festival features a traditional procession which starts from the church and goes all around the village. Major attraction of this procession and festival is the enactment of the ancient story of the three kings following the star to worship and offer gifts to the holy infant Jesus. Local men actively participate in the festival where they dress like the ancient characters and play the parts of the Magi kings. The church and its feast thus hold a strong line of devotion and followings.

Other Nearby Attractions:
Reis Magos Fort, Aguada Fort, North Goa beaches and other churches, Panjim