Goa has some daunting and enchanting destinations that are replete with a thousand story of common man and the royalty, all in the same boat. They are nostalgic and reminds us of a time back in the past and make us imagine how life was way back in the past. A tour of some of this heritage properties shall be immensely joyful and full of excitement contained in the richness of history.
Menezes Braganza House
Menezes Braganza House is included in a South Goa Heritage tour. It is located in Chandor in the South Goa District. You get the opportunity to tour this vast historic Portuguese property with one of the descendants of the family of original owners. The guide shall give you a friendly and warm welcome and will permit you to take as many pictures you want. The property is full of many antique pieces of furniture, chandeliers, paintings, marble pieces, piano, curios and there is a story attached to every single item placed in each corner. This property is steeped in rich history. The material, design scheme and history of each of these pieces of antique furniture that dates as many as 500 years ago are all meticulously narrated by the guide.
The huge old mansion still basks in the glory of its heydays and is sort of melancholy as one imagines the elegant parties that were held beneath the glittering chandeliers. Some of the trinkets and furniture that are on display was gifted to the family member, a high official of the Portuguese government in Goa, two or three generations back. The family chapel is the resting place of Saint Francis Xavier’s fingernails. The inlays of mosaic and marble flooring were brought to India from different corners of the world some 500 years back. The guest bedroom furniture vividly generates images as to how royal life was then for its inmates. The regal ballroom glittered vivaciously in a stately and grand beauty as soon as the chandeliers were turned on.
The Fernandes House is another example of the old age nostalgia of Goa belonging to the Portuguese era. The ancient city of Chandor, or Chandrapur, as it was known in the past, has a glorious heritage. This city had served as the first capital of Goa for the Bhojas and the Kadambas. Chandor has in store a lot of surprises for the curious travellers and tourists. Fernandes House is one of the famous houses built in the Portuguese era and this place will never cease to amaze you.
Right from an excavation site to Goa’s most famous houses built in the Portuguese era, Chandor is a place that never ceases to amaze you. This prominent house of this area will feature to be an interesting part of South Goa trail. You get to discover the origins of Goa and also compare it with the contemporary lifestyle. A friendly guide with a relaxed approach and with a good sense of humour will guide you through the hidden escape route to the river, the bats, and the incredible furniture and the ancient house. The current owner will narrate the story and the history of this beautiful old Portuguese home that is at least 450 years old. Admire the poignant and faded elegance of this ancient heritage home.
Palacio do Deao
Palacio do Deao is a 213 years old mansion, which was built by a Portuguese noble man. The owner was the Dean of the Church and also the founder of Quepem town. This ancient majestic house faces the Church that he had built and is idyllically located on the banks of the stunningly beautiful Kushavati River. The house is a masterpiece in being built in an unusual style of a unique blending of elements from the Hindu and Portuguese architectural patterns. The lush green gardens that surround the property has been preserved remarkably since ages and has always been known to be among the most beautiful pleasure gardens in Goa. The owners of the property Ruben and Celia Vasco da Gama have well maintained and have also carried our restoration work to preserve the property at its original grandeur. After you have had a guided tour of the beautiful property, you can also spend some time exploring the property on your own.
The food served here is beyond comparison and have won awards in their culinary accomplishment. It is a brilliant blend of the Goan and Portuguese and includes savoury crab, prawn empanadas, pork and beans in smoked paprika, pumpkin pie and fish dishes. A unique thing about this place is that there is no menu. You simply sit down and then get served with plate after plate of delicious food spreads. Food is included in the price of the tour, but you need to pay for the drinks. The tour bookings are usually done for groups and they usually do not cater for individual or solo guests. The surrounding premises are lovely and green. Certain portions of the property offer you views of the river. The lavish meals are cooked by the lady of the house herself and is complete with appetizers and main course. Get some good photographs for long-term memories.
Dr. Alvaro Loyola Furtado Mansion
Loyola-Furtado house at Chinchinim will take you by surprise. During your tour of this heritage treasure of Goa and an off-beat destination to tread into, you shall meet Rajendra and his family who live in the north wing of the house and they are entrusted to manage and maintain the Chapel, the courtyard, two large bedrooms and a corridor belonging to the property. Also, Mick, the interior decorator and Alice, his charming wife gives a warm welcome and show around how they have maintained and managed the treasured and priceless pieces of the house. Then there will also be Dr. Max greeting the guests in the former dining hall and now the formal drawing room of the large house and will contribute towards bringing out the rich history of the Loyola-Furtado house at Chinchinim.
The main reception room, known as the sala, will have Mick’s mother Dona Aninhas Fernandes Loyola-Furtado, who greets the guests cordially in three different languages: Portuguese, Konkani and English. Warmth exudes when the inmates guide the guests around. The heavy drapery adds extravagance and traditional weightage to the rooms. The paintings on the ceiling and the walls are ultimate fashion statements. The mansion offers a view of the village located close by. In the olden days, the house used to remain abuzz with the sights and sounds of the adjacent village but now it stands isolated and aloof but full to the brim with memories of the past.