Old Goa about 9 Kms. east of Panaji, was once the capital of the eastern Portuguese Empire and is now a fascinating small village surrounded by huge convents and churches dedicated to the zeal of Christianity, including the Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the famous Basilica of Bom Jesus. This ancient historical former capital of Goa is a UNESCO world heritage site now and is famed for its opulent buildings and churches reminiscent of the glory days of "Golden Goa". The Portuguese abandoned it officially in 1843 when the capital was moved to Panjim or Panaji. Today, the archeological survey of India and the Archdiocese of Goa maintain most of the remaining buildings. It is a holy site for all Goans because it is the site where the sacred relics of St Francis Xavier or "Goencho Saib" are preserved for posterity.
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