Posted by: dreymer | November 30, 2006

Goa: Sightseeing in the City

When in Goa, you have to visit Old Goa. The city of Goa was under Portuguese rule from 1510 and was the capital of Portuguese India until 1961. Rich in history, Old Goa contains churches affiliated to various congregations and that is why each basilica is just walking distance from one another. Our first visit – the Basilica of Bom Jesus. This church of “Bom Jesus” meaning the “Good” Jesus was built in 1695. It is considered one of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The entire façade has moulded basalt casing and the remaining part exposed to laterite.

It was one of those rare churches that was not covered with plaster because it was believed that the natural surroundings could protect the exterior.

Inside the basilica. The gilded main altar stood a statue of infant Jesus and a large statue of St. Ignatius Loyola and an “IHS” medallion above it.

 

Looking at Se Cathedral from where we were.

 

The letters IHS symbolizes the first three letters of “Jesus” in Greek.

 

The embalmed body of St. Francis Xavier, a member of the Jesuits society founded by Ignatius Loyola. Remember them? Suddenly familiar names were popping up and that’s when you start appreciate high school history (well.. sorta).

 

A quick snapshot right outside the basilica.

 

And like most unprepared tourists like us, we wandered around the church to search for anymore interesting finds. I took a couple of shots of the surrounding structures and the local Goans amidst a background of what Goa is all about – coconut trees.

    

 

Across the street, we walked towards the Se Cathedral. The pine trees in this area all sway to one side. Must be a wind factor. Very interesting.

 

Before visiting the former palace, we followed the rest of the tourist to the archaeological museum. We paid an entrance fee of RS 5 (less than RM 1 or a quarter of a US dollar) to view relics and artifacts discovered in this area in the 1970s.

An example of an old relic; ummm.. that would be one behind made of stone, not the shorty 😉 This was the only shot that we could take because we were warned that photography (flash or not) was prohibited. Bleh.

The second level of the museum displays portraits of ex-Portuguese governors and viceroys. As we were walking up the flight of stairs, there was a sugar-high kid shaking the rope barriers that is supposed to block visitors from getting too close to the portraits. A loud piercing whistle was heard and all heads turned to search for the origins of that loud offending sound. A security guard seated on his very important security stool, stared at the kid and pointed his finger towards the ‘criminal’. Poor kid – must have scared the crap out of him. Luckily the guards didn’t try to pull the same stunt on us when we were taking pictures on the ground floor. I wonder how we would react.

 

Entering the Church of St. Francis of Assisi.  Another baroque designed church.  It must have been really, really beautiful.

 

Entering the church

 

The three exits of the church.

 

About 2 minutes drive away was the ruins of the St. Augustine towers.

 

The following excerpt was taken from a sign at the St. Augustine grounds:

“In 1835 this complex was abandoned due to the expulsion of the religious orders from Goa and the Portuguese government ordered its demolition. In 1846 the main vault of the church collapsed and the convent rapidly decayed. The valuable articles belonging to the religious complex were either sold or lost, being nowadays dispersed over many churches in Goa. The bell from the tower was initially taken to Fort Aguada and later in 1871 was shifted to the Lady Immaculate Church in Panaji.”

New life blooms from the ruins

Passages

Once upon a time the cathedral was adorned with hand drawn tiles and now this is all that’s left

Part of the ruins

About 10 minutes ride away, we were in the city of Panjim/Panaji. The stairs leading up to the Panjim Church of Mary Immaculate Conception reminds me of the Spanish Steps in Rome.

The church was under restoration.

 

The colourful buildings in Panaji with ellaborate designs and colours. Very pretty.

 

 

After a longgg walk around the city, we finally settled for Cafe Coffee Day. We needed normal coffee and normal food — like pizza! Even if it had to be vegetarian.

 

What I love about these cafes or even in the airports, they have a counter with mobile phone charger outlets. So if you are running out of batt, you can just charge your phone at your convenience. Cool huh?

to be continued… the insider news for future Goan tourists…

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Responses

  1. Wow… How many pictures did you take on your trip? The last pic had me baffled for a while… Heh.

  2. About 450 pictures. There are plenty more that I didn’t post up. Hmm.. baffled? Is it because my description doesn’t match the picture? Haaa..

  3. oh drebee,what big hairy hands you have…

    *runs away in fear

  4. hi there …
    i needed to check how do i get contact details for baywatch at reis margo. Im planning my trip there end of the year.
    do you know where in goa it is ?
    thanks in advance.
    Lavesh

  5. Hello Lavesh,
    Here’s the website: http://www.lazydays.co.uk/property.asp?PropID=3
    Look at this map: http://www.mapsofindia.com/maps/goa/goa-beaches-map.jpg
    Reis Margos is located at the bay area between Miramar and Sinquerim Beach. (the lagoon between both beaches). It is about 20-30mins drive to Panaji. You can see a more detailed map in the Lazydays website.
    Thanks!

  6. thanks a lot …
    truly appreciate it.
    Cheers
    L


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