Santo Aleixo, St. Alex Calangute is a must to visit part of your Calangute beach trip. The church was built in the year 1595 and rebuilt in 1741 as we see it today. St. Alexius is the patron of the Calangute church. St. Alex Church is the first church to be dedicated to 'Our Lady of Lourdes'. The church is surrounded by the opulence of beaches like Calangute and Anjuna. More than 400 years old, the church is the third made in the village.
The church is located on CHOGM Road, about 9 kilometers from Margao. As soon as you enter the serene Calangute village moving ahead heavily trafficked CHOGM road the Church of St Alex greets you with its two towers. To reach the church, you can take the main Calangute-Baga Road, further heading towards the beach in Central Calangute. Church is fairly accessible from any part of the Calangute beach. The Calangute village is well connected to all major cities.
Nearest Airport is at Dabolim (29km) from Panjim and the nearest railway station is at Karmali, at a distance of 11km from Panjim. Calangute is just a 45-minute ride up from the city of Panjim. Travelling through the roadways, there is a frequent line of buses from Panjim (16km) and Mapusa (8 km).
You have plenty of options to choose from in according to your affordability. Calangute beach being the prime tourist attraction, has wide range of hotels of various categories. You can enjoy a lavish stay at the resorts or luxury and premium hotel or cherish the serenity of Goa with a descent stay at budget hotels. Most popular hotels in this area are:
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The Indo-Baroque façade of the church can be distinctively noticed from a long distance. This innovative monumental church had been made from the fractional budget collected from the villager's contribution during 16th Century.
The church structure from front has twin towers and a dome with seven altars. Going deep into the history of this church, the original chapel was built in 1576 by St. Francis. The structure then was built simply of palm leaves along the sea-shore. It was in filial link with the church of Nagoa. In 1595 the church was rebuilt by Franciscans with a cemetery. The church was a simple structure covered with leaves, made on the same location of the original chapel. There still can be seen a cross, relic of the church-cemetery. This church being too small and simple soon was demolished. The present structure of the church was made in 1741 by the villagers and its towers were made in 1765. Main shrine had been rebuilt lately in 1961. The church was entrusted to diocesan clergy in 1767.
Main attraction of this church is optical illusion of innovative architecture. The church apparently seems to have a large dome at the apex. The cupoliform style of façade architecture is employed in this church. The usual fronton pedimental has been replaced by walls with slightly curved form on the façade side with an elevated dome shape. Church structure has three levels of fronton on the regular pattern of cupola, consisting of drum, calotte and lantern. Built in solid masonry the church gives a perfect illusion of a three dimensional dome. Calotte has been made with punctuated pattern of shallow ribs.
The three main altars at the centre and two sides are dedicated to 'Our Lady of the Mount', 'Our Lady of the Perpetual Succor', 'the Sacred Heart of Jesus &d Mary', and 'the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception'. The church has a very unique construction, which attracts thousands of people to flock around here. Architecture of the church includes a 'cupola falsa', which means a 'false dome', made in Indian style. Church yard has a Grooto of 'Our lady of Lourdes', first grotto to be dedicated to Our Lady in entire Goa. Pulpit of the church, made in Rococo style is said to be brought from the Church of Holy Rosar, better known as the church of St. Francis of Assisi. Inside of the church has a magnificent display of architectural style lines and intricate altars.
St. Alex Church is dedicated to a very compassionate Saint Alexius who gave his every possession to the poor and needy. He was the only son of a rich man and had a happy family, but on the god's call he had left his home and became saint. As a hermit he spent 17 years in the Church of Our Lady, in the Edessa, living primarily on the alms he received at the gate of the church. Statue of Our Lady herself introduced him to people as 'the man of the God'.
Queen of beaches has a fabulous line of chapels like Chapel of St. Anthony of Lisbon, Chapel of Our Lady of Piety, Chapel of St. John the Baptist, etc. Moving a bit father you will love to drop onto the Baga, Anjuna, etc. beaches and Panjim locations.