International Museum Day 2022: These colonial-era houses are among the best museums in Goa

With their distinct exterior and period interiors, Goa's palatial heritage homes date back to colonial times, and are like a walk into Goa's past
The Bragança House in Chandor
The Bragança House in Chandor Gomantak Times

Walking into a museum is like going back in time. The artefacts, antiques and objects that are showcased there give you an insight into the past. The museum functions as a storehouse of objects which hold historical, scientific, artistic or cultural significance to a place.

In Goa, there are many such museums which display some of the most interesting artefacts that date back centuries. They help to understand Goa in a much better way.

On International Museum Day, let's take a look at a few heritage homes of Goa, which are clearly museums, taking you to life in a bygone era, in Goa.

These heritage homes are styled in Indo-Portuguese architecture and are over 200 years old. Through the antiques and family heirlooms on display within, you get a glimpse of the socio-cultural life of the people and how it has changed over the years.

While the objects and heirloom elements that are here might be common to many other palatial houses in the state, there some rare pieces which might surprise you.

And, if you are in Goa this International Museum Day, then you definitely need to visit these houses in order to revisit Goa's past and get to know the descendants of the families who continue to live there.

Figueiredo House

Brimming with antiques, Figueiredo House in Loutolim, South Goa, is over 300 years old. It belonged to an influential family, who moved from their native house in Sancoale to the village of Loutolim, when their village was struck by Bubonic Plague. The house was designed by Jesuit priests.

As you enter this palatial house and pass through the hallways, you find the house adorned with Belgian chandeliers, photographs from the past, porcelain crockery and the tiles from Italy.

The beautifully arranged teakwood furniture is reminiscent of the past. And, in one area of this house is the Ivory German Piano that’s made from ivory and has elephants carved on it.

You can also have the luxury of hosting events or weddings in this palatial residence. And, the house also has rooms which allow guests to get a first-hand experience of the luxury of living in an Indo-Portuguese house.

Location: Figueiredo Mansion

Bragança Mansion

Every time one talks about the village of Chandor, (Chandrapur, the ancient capital of the Kadambas), in South Goa, the first thing that comes to mind is the palatial house, located at the entrance of the village. The sprawling mansion is owned by Menezes Bragança and Pereira Bragança.

The house is architecturally very interesting with stucco balconies overhead and large ornate windows. The family also has a royal coat of arms, which was issued by the Council of Nobility in Lisbon.

From the tiling in the roof, there is an interesting tale to narrate. You can find rare porcelain from Macao, a huge coconut brought from the Seychelles, and several other important pieces of antiquity.

The ballroom, dining and the family chapel are some of the interesting areas that give you a closer look at the life and culture of the people. You can also find palanquins which were used in the olden days.

Location: Bragança Mansion

The ballroom of Bragança House
The ballroom of Bragança House Gomantak Times

Casa Araujo Alvares

In Loutolim, South Goa, Casa Araujo Alvares has been converted into a walk through museum. It houses a variety of antiques. Here, you can find various exhibits, ranging from antiques, furniture, precious items etc. There are enthnographic objects used by the people in the past, as well as other everyday things such as beds, tables, commodes (made of wood), porcelain crockery, etc.

An entire cupboard in the house has a collection of idols of Ganesh in different shapes and sizes.

As you enter the house, on the right, above the main door, you can see the crest of the Araujo Alvares family.

Location: Casa Araujo Alvares

Casa Araujo Alvares at Loutolim, Goa
Casa Araujo Alvares at Loutolim, GoaGomantak Times
The Bragança House in Chandor
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