Velha Goa was founded in the 15th century and till the 17th century was one of the largest most cosmopolitan cities in the world, larger than London or Paris. This Portuguese colonial city was also a beachhead for Catholicism in Asia. St. Francis Xavier, one of the first Jesuits, arrived in 1542 and proceeded to agressively proselytize over much of Asia. A year after he died in China his body was brought back to Goa where it now resides (next pic) in a silver casket in the Basilica of Bom Jesus. You can see the shriveled body through the gold encircled windows. Every few years the local archbishop brings him down to ground level for a while so the devoted, and curious, can get a closer look.
|capiz shell shutters|
|some more nice wall painting that survived the whitewash|