An Intriguing Game of Thrones: 5 Historical Places to See in Goa
Known for its deep rooted connection with the Portuguese settlers, Goa is much more than a land of happening beaches, beach shacks, night life and carnivals. In fact, the traces of this rich heritage can be found in many popular tourist places in Goa, which are stark remnants of Goa’s eventful history. So, the next time when you are in the city, ditch the clichéd beaches and night clubs, and make it a point to visit these places to see in Goa.
1.St. Estevam Fort
Perched on the scenic St. Estevam Hill, this fort is located on Ilhas Island, that is, ‘the isle of vegetables’. Housing the iconic statue of Christ the King, the fort served as a vantage point, back in the day, to keep a tab on the activities of traders and the markets situated in the valley below. Also known as the fort of Jua, it is flanked by the waters of the Mondovi River. The Church of Santo Estevam (which is touted as the first Church of the region) is also located here.
Where: Juvem Village
Timings: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Dating back to the year 1612, this fort is situated roughly 18 km off Panaji. Enveloped by the azure waters of the Arabian Sea, this majestic fort is an extension of the Aguada Fort. A tall lighthouse can be found within the premises of this fort. This happens to be one of the oldest lighthouses in Asia! It also encompasses of two parts – the upper portion and the lower portion. The latter part acted as a safe dock for Portuguese ships. It also houses an underground water storing compartment and a gunpowder room.
Where: Sinquerim Beach
Timings– 7 AM to 6 PM
Constructed in 1551, this is a small island fortress located 6 km off Aldona, North Goa. Offering the view of the Mapusa River, Corjuem Fort is built of pitted laterite stone walls. It overlooks the landscape of Goa and was therefore used as a safety net by the Marathas, Bhonsles and the Rane Rajputs to keep the Portuguese settlers at bay. A cable suspension bridge connects this fort to Aldona. An interesting anecdote about this fort is that of a woman named Ursula e Lancastre, who disguised herself as a man in order to serve in the army. Although she was captivated for the same, her story had a sweet climax since she married her captor.
Where: Corjuem, Bardez
Timings: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
4.Basilica of Bom Jesus
One of a kind, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a church known for its exemplary craftsmanship and baroque architecture. While the Church was constructed in the year 1594, the time when Christianity started making its mark on the Indian soil; it was consecrated in 1605. It houses the remains of St. Francis Xavier and is a part of the Portuguese heritage. The interior of the Church is embellished with marble mosaic flooring. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is an oasis of peace.
Where: Old Goa Rd, Bainguinim
Timings: 09:00 AM – 06:30 PM
5.Royal Chapel Of St Anthony
This World Heritage Site is a semicircular 17th century Church, which is said to be one of the oldest churches built by Alfonso de Albuquerque (a Portuguese warrior) as a tribute to St Anthony (the Portuguese saint). While it was destroyed in 1835, it was rebuilt in 1961 by the last Governor General of Goa, Vassalo de Silva. Also known as ‘The Royal Chapel’, it is a famous tourist spot in Goa.
Where: St. Augustine Tower
Timings: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Once you are done exploring these historical buildings, you can stop by at Royal Orchid Beach Resort & Spa for a welcoming meal.