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The Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church is located in Panjim, Goa, India. The Church conducts mass every day in English, Konkani, and Portuguese.The colonial Portuguese Baroque style church was first built in 1541 as a chapel on a hill side overlooking the city of Panjim. It was eventually replaced by a larger church in the 1600s as part of Portuguese Goa’s religious expansion. This church houses the ancient bell that was removed from the Augustinian ruins of the Church of Our Lady of Grace in the once famed city of Old Goa. This bell is considered to be the second largest of its kind in Goa, surpassed only by the Golden Bell which resides in the Sé Cathedral in Old Goa.HistoryA chapel was first built in Panaji in 1541, to serve the religious needs of Portuguese sailors at their first port of call in colonial Portuguese India. At that time the settlement was a small fishing village. It became a Parish in 1600, and in 1609 the small chapel was replaced by the present day large church to minister to the residents and sailors. In the 18th century the stairways, in a symmetrical zigzag form, were added to the church. The second largest church bell in Goa was installed in a bell tower in 1871. It was formerly at the Augustinian Monastery on Holy Hill, and was retrieved after the monastery was damaged.LocationThe church is located in Panjim and sits atop a hill facing the square below. The city’s municipal garden (Garcia da orta) lies to its southeast and can be seen from atop the hill. The site was once the location of a colonial port landing where ships sailing from Lisbon made first call, and where sailors disembarked before they proceeding further inland to Ela (now Old Goa) – the capital of Goa until the 19th century. A laterite stone walkway with ziz-zag stairs ascend the church while lines of thin and tall palm trees form part of the scene.
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