Historical Places in Goa

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Although Goa is synonymous to parties, fun and frolic, there is much more to Goa than that. Goa has witnessed a lot of cultural and political activity in the past centuries and thus is very rich in cultural and architectural heritage. Apart from the beautiful beaches, sun and sand there are several heritage sites in Goa. The Churches and Convents of Goa have also been declared as UNESCO Sites in Goa. Read on to learn about a few places in Goa and Old Goa that are of historical importance to add to your list of must do things in Goa.

Here is list of The Most Fascinating Historical Places in Goa

1. Terekhol Fort: Heritage Fort in Goa

The Terekhol Fort is one of the oldest forts and one of the best heritage sites in Goa. It is located on the northern tip at the mouth of the River Tiracol. The name of the fort actually means 'steep river bank' in Marathi. The fort was built by the King of Sawantwadi - Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle way back in the 17th century. However, the Portuguese captured the fort in 1746. Owing to its strategic location on a hillock on the banks of the river that gave a commanding view of the Arabian Sea, it played a pivotal role as a part of the Portuguese maritime defences. The Fort was reconstructed by the Portuguese viceroy Dom Pedro Miguel de Almeida in 1764. Once the Portuguese left, the Fort was left abandoned. This marvellous fort also served as a base for the freedom fighters who fought for the liberation of Goa during the freedom struggle of 1961. There is a memorial for the Freedom fighters in the premise as well. The residues of the Fort have now been converted into a hotel by the name of Terekhol Fort Heritage.

There is also a church inside the premises of the fort which is known as the St. Anthony church. The church is usually not open for public to visit. It is only open to the public on the feast day that is usually held in the month of May.

Nearby attractions: Arambol Beach, Chapel of our Lady Carmin, querim beach

Have a look at the Places to visit in Goa in Monsoon

2. Basilica de Bom Jesus: Construction Marvel from 1594

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a stunning church dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, the co-founder of the Society of Jesus. The church is called 'Bom Jesus' meaning 'good Jesus'. The Construction of this marvellous church began in 1594 and took 11 years to complete. The interior of the church is built in Mosaic-corinthian style and has paintings of events from the life of St. Francis Xavier. This historical place in Goa is regarded as one of the best examples of baroque architecture.

The Church also preserves the remains of St. Francis Xavier in an airtight glass coffin that is placed in a silver casket.
There is folklore that the saint has miraculous powers of healing. Every 10 years, visitors are allowed to view the body, the last time it was in 2014 and the next would be in 2024.

Distance:9 Kms from Kadamba Bus Terminus

Nearby attractions: Church of St. Francis of Assissi, Museum of Christian Art, Viceroy's Arch, St. Agustin Tower, Church of the Cross of Miracles

3. Chapora Fort

PC: Wikimedia Commons

Situated in North Goa, the Chapora Fort is one of the most popular forts and historical places in Goa, especially after an epic scene from Dil Chahta Hai was shot here. The fort is constructed in red laterite stones by the king of Bijapur, Adil Shah. The fort was built to keep an eye on the Hindu raiders who wanted to mark Goa as their territory. After the end of Adil Shah’s reign, the fort was destroyed and was restructured by the Portuguese in 1617. However, what remains today are just ruins with the heads of the escape tunnels. The view of Vagator and Anjuna beach from the ruins of Chapora Fort is simply astounding. Early mornings are the best time to visit the fort for the scenic views. After the day out you can also enjoy food at Anjuna that host few of the best Vegetarian restaurants in Goa.

Distance: 19 Kms from Kadamba Bus Terminus.

Nearby attractions:Chapora Beach, Vagator Beach, Anjuna Beach, Calagunte Beach, St. Cajetan Church

4. Se Cathedral: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Se Cathedral is revered as one of the largest churches in Asia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Goa (Churches & Convents of Goa). The church is one of the many historical churches in Goa and is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. It is said that it is on her feast day that Alfonso Albuquerque defeated the Muslim army and took control of Goa. The church is renowned to be the oldest, most celebrated and prestigious religious buildings in Goa. It also holds the honour of being the seat of Archdiocese of Goa.

The architecture of Se Cathedral is mainly of the Portuguese-Gothic style. The exterior of the church is Tuscan while the interior is Corinthian. The main attractions of the Cathedral are the 15 altars, which are dedicated to Our Lady of Three Needs, Our Lady of Anguish or Our Lady of Hope. The grand alter is extremely decorative and is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. It has the carvings depicting the major events of the life of St. Catherine. Adjacent to the he main altar is the throne of Archbishop of Goa. Plan a vacation to Goa with triphobo free trip planner.

Nearby attractions: St. Agustin Tower, Museum Of Christian Art, Church of Our Lady of Rosary Church of St John of God, San Pedro Church, Our Lady of Help Church, Chapel of St. Francis Xavier

5. Fort Aguada: Seventeenth-Century Lighthouse

The majestic Fort of Aguada was constructed by the Portuguese colonial rulers in 1612 to prevent the entry of ships into the River Mandovi, protecting old Goa from the attacks of Dutch and Marathas. There was a freshwater spring within the fort that was the source of water supply to the ships that used to stop by giving the name 'Aguada' meaning Water in Spanish. At the central area of the fort there are two hundred cannons and a surrounding deep ditch that was built for protection. It is still there and visitors have to cross this to get inside. Aguada Fort also boasts of the first ever light house in Asia that houses a gigantic bell and a part of the fort serves as a Jail. Aguada fort is a magnificent symbol of the by gone era.

Nearby attractions: Sinquerim Beach, Candolim Beach and St. Lawrence Church at Candolim

Apart from the above, there are several historical temples in Goa such as the Shantadurga and the Mangeshi Temple. The rich cultural heritage of Goa has led history lovers to explore these enchanting historical destinations of Goa. It’s about time you plan a trip to Goa and reminisce its rich heritage.

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