About this trip:
Old Goa was Goa’s former capital city. It was a thriving city even in prior to Portuguese times. It was the capital of the Bahmani Sultan Adil Shah empire. The large palace of Adil Shah, surrounded by fort walls, towers and a moat was located here as well as many temples and mosques. Unfortunately none of these structures remain in existence today except for the ruins of the gateway to the palace.
The Portuguese arrived here in 1510 under their commander Afonso de Albuquerque, and captured the city from Adil Shah, the ruler of the Bijapur Kingdom. They came to the East in search of trade and to spread Christianity. Under Portuguese rule Goa rapidly became a major metropolis of the 16th and 17th century rivaling London and Paris, and at its peak had a population of over 150,000 people.
However, disease and decline in trade took its toll and the city rapidly deteriorated in the latter part of the 17th century. The capital was officially moved to Panjim in 1843. Eventually, the site of Old Goa was used as a quarry to build Panjim, and buildings were left to naturally decay and were eventually demolished.
Old Goa is a World Heritage site housing some of the most historically significant buildings and churches in the region. Among these are the Basilica of Bom Jesus where the remains of St. Francis Xavier are to be found, the imposing Sé Cathedral, the Church of St Francis of Assisi, the Chapel of St Catherine, the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount, the Church of Our Lady of Rosary, the Church of St Cajetan, the Chapel of St Anthony and the ruins of the Tower of St Augustine’s Church.