One of the lasting legacies of Goa's colonial past are the magnificent palatial mansions now known as heritage homes.
During Portuguese rule wealthy Goan merchants and high ranking officials built magnificent residential houses on land granted to them by the Portuguese. The design of these homes was inspired by European architectural styles, using local materials such as red literate stone and terracotta roof tiles from Mangalore in neighbouring Karnataka. The furnishings and decorations came from all around the world - mirrors from Venice, Chandeliers from Belgium, porcelain from China and tapestries from Portugal, while the rosewood furniture was exquisitely carved by local craftsmen.
Many of these homes are still occupied by the ancestors of the original owners and some can be visited by appointment only. Others have been transformed into wonderful boutique hotels and one is now a museum.
Heritage Goa Excursion
This fascinating tour explores Goa's colonial past visiting museums, mansions and churches including the heritage home, Menezes Braganza Pereira house, in the village of Chandor. This 350-year-old mansion is now home to a fabulous museum of chandeliers, paintings, porcelain and period furniture. Another stop is to see the 213-year-old Palace in Quepem, built by a Portuguese noble man, the founder of Quepem town. Surrounded by lush exotic gardens, the house itself is a wonderful mix of both Hindu and Portuguese architectural styles.
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Heritage Home Hotels
The Postcard Moira, North Goa
Situated a 30-minute drive from Baga beach, The Postcard Moira offers a tranquil retreat from Goa’s coastline. This beautifully restored ancestral home has been decorated with a mix of traditional colonial furnishings and white-washed, modern touches. Plus, with only nine rooms in the whole hotel, you can rest assured you’ll get a good night’s sleep.
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The Postcard Cuelim, South Goa
Located in the quiet village of Cuelim, this hotel provides a peaceful escape in the region of South Goa. Holding onto its traditional Goan roots, this historic, boutique hotel is home to eight beautifully authentic rooms overlooking 3500 acres of lush green paddy fields. At the centre of the property, a 350 year-old chapel from which the hotel takes on its historical significance.
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Panjim Inn, Central Goa
Panjim Inn in the Fontainhas, Latin Quarter of Panjim is a small, family run hotel, recognised as the state’s first classified Heritage Hotel. Furnished in antiques and unique works of art, a stay here will transport you back to Goa’s rich colonial past. Although added modern conveniences such as air-conditioning, WiFi and an outdoor Jacuzzi on the Inn’s top floor, will bring you back to the present day.
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