What are the Places with Portugal’s Influence in Goa?
Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa churches, and Dona Paula Beach are some of the best places to see Portugal’s influence in Goa. Most people think about late-night parties, beaches, and crazy water sports when they think of Goa. However, if you want to catch sight of European architecture, specifically Portuguese, Goa is the best place to explore the colonial structures. In fact, it will not be wrong to say that the entire culture of Goa has a certain Portuguese influence, be it food, traditions, architecture, or language. Moreover, it is a very beautiful experience to go through colourful streets with vibrant houses. Travelling through the streets of Goa will transfer you to the streets of Portugal. So, I have curated a list of some of the best places to experience Portuguese influence in Goa.
1. Basilica of Bom Jesus
This stunning world historical monument was built in the 16th century. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Goa. This place attracts a massive number of visitors due to its magnificent architecture. The basilica has basalt pillars and is made of black granite walls and a tiled roof with a slope. The pillars and the church altar have inscriptions ingrained in Latin and Portuguese. The place is open from 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM, and to have the best experience at this place, visit it from September to March. You can enjoy nature photography here, and if you are interested in history, you will fall in love with this place.
2. Se Cathedral
This is Old Goa’s most famous landmark and was built in the sixteenth century. Se Cathedral is Asia’s largest operational church. You should not make the mistake of skipping it off of your itinerary. This monument has an Iberian style of architecture. The walls are like a canvas, beautifully painted with rich paintings, and the church is shaped like a crucifix. You can visit the place from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays. However, it remains open till 10:00 PM on Sundays. Hence, be mindful of the timings while planning your visit to this place.
3. Tomb Of St. Francis Xavier
One of the must-visit places in old Goa, the Tomb of St. Francis Xavier, is situated in the Basilica of Bom Jesus chapel. The place is full of Portugal’s influence as St. Francis Xavier was a renowned priest who came from Portugal to India. He influenced the culture and people of the place with his Portugal culture. The architecture of the tomb is amazing. Moreover, the tomb was built with white marble and jasper. If you belong to the Christian faith, you should consider visiting the St. Francis Xavier Tomb, where the remains of St. Xavier are showcased once every ten years. The times to visit the place are between 8 AM and 6 PM. And the place can be easily accessed by public transport or taxis.
4. Reis Magos Fort
Reis Magos Fort was built in 1707 by the Portuguese. The fort has a lot of things to see, which are influenced by the Portuguese culture. The fort was built on the bank of the Mandovi River, and the structure is still standing today. It was established to protect Old Goa from the invaders. Moreover, the red walls and minars can also be seen from far away. The fort is huge as it was reconstructed twice to increase its area. There is also a church near the fort known as Reis Magos Church. You can visit the fort from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. If you are a solo traveller and love to capture aesthetic pictures, then the place is absolutely a treasure to you. You can reach the Reis Magos Fort by public transport from any corner of Goa.
5. Augustine Ruins
Goa is known for its beaches and adventurous activities. However, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing else. Some places of Goa have a lot to tell about their history of Goa. One of such places is St. Augustine Ruins. The St. Augustine Ruins is a church that has been ruined due to ignorance in conserving the place. However, the place is still worth visiting. It had a 46m high tower. The church’s architecture is based on Iberian architecture and is also in the top three Iberian architectures in the world.
The church dates back to the 17th century, and it is amazing to see such a beautiful architectural work from the 17th century. The best time to visit St. Augustine Ruins is in the winter. The entry to premises is allowed between 9 AM and 5 PM. The place is very easy to access, and you can reach the ruins by public transport, taxi, car, or bike. Also, you should consider visiting this place if you love to explore the historical places of India.
Get inspired by the Goan Culture
Hopefully, this list will help you plan a great solo trip, including some of the most stunning places with Portuguese influence. Explore the streets and spots of old Goa to add some vibrant memories to your great experience of travelling solo throughout the beautiful state. Old Goa is undoubtedly a remarkable blend of colonial monuments, lovely coastal scenery, colourful houses, and cobbled pathways. You will not find this combination anywhere else in India except in Goa. Besides, the entire culture of Goa is a mix of Indian and Portuguese influences. So, you will experience a little Portuguese in the local people’s language, food, and traditions. All you have to do now is pack your bags and get ready to get transferred into the mini Portugal of India.
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An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.