Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Neves
History and museums
Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Neves (The Church of Our Lady of Snows) is a historic church in the village of Rachol, on the banks of the river Zuari, in Goa, India. The church was built in the 1560s. It is located close to the notable Rachol Seminary.
The Colonial Portuguese Baroque style church (building)|church was originally built with mud walls and a thatched roof, alongside the fort of Rachol. The Captain of the Rachol fortress (in Portuguese 'Capitão desta Fortaleza de Rachol') Diogo Rodrigues was appointed to carry out the work. It was completed in 1565.
The church was dedicated to Nossa Senhora de Neves (Our Lady of the Snows). It has been referred to as the "Mother church" (Matriz) for the whole of South Goa and was named " Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Neves." It was the Seat of the first Archbishop of Goa, Dom Gaspar Jorge de Leão Pereira who personally visited Margão and the surrounding areas to choose the location. Dom shot an arrow into the ground at Rachol and ordered the church to be built there. The church was considered to be the first at Salcette (Salcette was called "Ilha de Salcete do Sul " at that time).
Two historical burials took place at the altar. The first burial was for the captain of the Fort (Capitão desta Fortaleza) Diogo Rodrigues in 1577. The second regards the massacre of Jesuit priests and civilians that occurred in the Cuncolim Revolt in July 1583. The martyrs' bodies remained in the church until 1597, after which they were moved to Saint Paul's College, Goa and laid to rest in Old Goa at the Cathedral in 1862.