Braganza House Chandor, Goa
For a state that was under the domain of Portuguese for 450 years, its difficult to root out the influence. Portuguese left Goa in 1961 but wherever you set your eyes here, you can see their mark on everything. From a considerable Christian population to Portuguese architecture, everywhere you see deep rooted influence. Goa has been a holiday destination for decades but it's not just the trance parties or miles of virgin beach territories that Goa offers. The landscape of Goa is dotted with heritage houses, villas, mansions that are reminiscent of the Portuguese era. There are also some unique examples of clever blend of the Indian and Portuguese styles. At places glimpses of European and Italian styles are also available. These architectural heritages also attract a number of tourists.
Some Famous Mansions of Goa
Salvador Da Costa mansion
Situated in Loutolim, a south Goa village, this mansion was built in nineteenth century. This house is an example of how practicality and functionality took priority over grandeur. Single storeyed, this mansion built by Padre Pedrinho and Padre Laurence is inspired from so many styles that its architecture is quite difficult to define with a single term. It would be appropriate to say that the mansion carries the best of both worlds: what was and what is now. It has a low pitched tile roof and a wide veranda ( typical of Indian style) and designs include Gothic style windows, and columns clustered. This mixed architecture has come to be referred as the Goan eclectic style.
Solar Dos Colacos Mansion
Situated on the left bank of river Mandovi, this is probably the only Goan mansion facing the river. The facade of the mansion is baroque in style. The mansion offers a spectacular view of the islands of Chorao and Divar and churches of old Goa. The construction of this mansion began in 1730 by Joao Colaco. As years passed by, and the house passed from one generation to another features were added to it ambivalent to that time. Nazario Colaco, who inhabited the house after 1890 was an artist and craftsman. Evidence of his creativity are visible all around the house. For example the floor of entire ballroom being built in wood of 16 different types. The mansion has other interesting features such as the intricately carved Goan furniture, chandeliers, mirrors, the dining hall has scenes from Ramayana. On the other hand the private chapel has Roman Catholic influence with an altar being dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary. A visit to this house will liven up different prevailing trends of different times.
Menezes Braganza, Braganza Pereirera Mansion
Situated in Chandor, this mansion is considered to be one of the grandest mansions in the state. The sheer magnificence of the mansion from outside as well as inside is beyond comprehension. Italian patterned flooring (tiles and marble mosaic), stained glass windows, china ware and vases, the mansion will itself narrate stories of its magnificent past. The windows when the house was made earlier were made out of the mother of pearl shells. Antique furniture, Italian chandelier, Goa's first private library all these and much more add to the beauty of this mansion.
This mansion lies in close proximity of Goa's most happening beach Anjuna.Mascarenhas Mansion has rich and classic 'balcoes' (balconies). An L shaped seat along the porch is carved out of expensive wood. There are also some fine stained glass floral etchings.
Dr Pinto De Rosario Mansion
Dr. Pinto De Rosario Mansion lying between Panjim and Mapusa is in Porvorim. The mansion is filled with Indo-Portuguese furniture, European and Chinese wares. There are rare pieces of cut glass, blue china and ivory. All these things piled up in sideboards and cupboards are yet to be categorized and dated. However what surprises one is the quality and quantity in which these items are present. There is an exquisite Italian flooring in the parlour and the love chair in the mansion is supposed to be 200 years old. The tapestry placed above the intricately carved sofa carriers the replica of Rembrandt's Night Watch.
For a landscape that is dotted with architectural examples, every other house is an example in itself. In Loutolim is a Figueredo mansion raised on a high plinth and its balcao (porch) is interesting to see as it shows evolving of convenience architecture. Miranda mansion (1710) in the same area is a typical country mansion with a separate chapel for worship, internal verandas etc. Another country mansion in Margao, Sat Burnzam Ghor (1790) is a replica of Portuguese style with a grand double storeyed facade. This mansion has the first private chapel that was allowed in Goa. Dr. Alvaro Loyola Furtado Mansion in Chinchinim displays richness unrivaled at the time it was built (1833). If you have an eye for architecture then just set on foot and you will discover numerous examples yourself.