Each type of architecture has a history to it and Goa have a excellent visual delight. Along with the roads dotted with palm trees, you will witness the cozy homes as well. The Portuguese culture has influence in Goa more than at any other state in India and most of the historic houses still standing were built between 18th century and the early part of 20th century. The Portuguese arrived in Goa in 1510 and brought with them a host of cultural and aesthetic influences from Europe and other places. The Portuguese first made churches and the started constructed casa’s (private houses).
The Enchanting Houses of Goa-Museum
So far my favorite house architectures were Contemporary Beach House, English Cottage and Victorian until I travel to Goa for the first time in Dec 2012 and fell in love with unique colorful Goan structures and Portuguese Homes. Heritage and classic Goan – Portuguese houses are found across various parts of Goa. While some are well maintained others remain abandoned and in a ruined conditions. As a legacy of the era of Portuguese colonization, these houses are not only symbols but they still remain occupied and standing tall due to some locals, who value and preserve these traditional mansions of their ancestral Goan aristocracy. Recently I have read this somewhere “The use of local materials, crafts and skills make the Western-influenced Goan house a unique architectural expression. These were not buildings imposed upon Goans, or buildings negotiated between Goans and foreign prelates or authorities, they were buildings by Goans, designed by Goan architects and masons, including Goan Catholic priests, and in many cases, commissioned by Goan landowners or Goan local communities”.
A brainchild of famous Goan Architect Gerard da Cunha, Houses of Goa Museum located within a private property in Pehna de França, a quite insightful place for those who keen to know more about the culture and architectures of Goan homes. They have documents a private collection of fine elements of Goan residential architecture in a four floor structure. The building architecture flares out a ship-like prow where two bulging sidewalls meet. The locals often called this museum building – Titanic. It is built around a huge central pillar that houses the narrow steep circular staircase connecting the floors (really steep!). The flaring-out provides additional exhibition space on each successive upper floor. These areas are further augmented by floors projecting out of the building, supported by metal pipe brackets. It is so peaceful here that you can literally can here your heart beats. Read each details and transport back to the colonial era. The fourth level have a small auditorium kinda space where you can sit and feel the wind touch your face. This space is usually use for the architecture workshop.
At the entrance they have small souvenir shop and make sure you check out the washroom 😀 It is a clean and great space with witty Mario’s posters all around.
There are maps, sketches, pictures, stories and detail descriptions as if making you time travel through the various houses of Goa back to 17th and 18th centuries. It tells you about the various components of a house like a balcony, doors, windows, pillars, flooring, panels and sitting spaces in detail. You might have seen a dedicated Tulsi space at some houses while you wandering around, they have a detail story behind it. This museum is basically a treasure house for architecture students though, but me and my mother enjoyed a lot learning about ancient Goa architectures, we are more art and museum person. They have also exhibit an old Machila – a hand ported carriage that can seat two people face to face. You will find this at many Goan architecture houses / hotels.
There are many ancient architecture mansion in Goa which have turned to Heritage Hotels and gives you a chance to lives up the true spirit of Goa. Each corner will tell you a story. Click here to know more.
Indian Artist, Cartoonist & Illustrator Mario de Miranda Gallery
Mário João Carlos do Rosário de Brito Miranda ComIH popularly known as Mario Miranda is a Goa based cartoonist, painter and one of India’s most well recognized illustrators. He was known best for his brilliant depiction of Goa and his political satire and capture everyday moments and humorous encounters, his artwork speaks about his own whimsical experiences and witty personality. Just two minutes walking distance from Houses of Goa Museum you will find a huge gallery-meets-store of Mario Miranda. Well you must have seen it before at the airport or at many other places, but this is the main gallery in Goa.
That’s all for today folks!! I hope you enjoy reading my travel experiences and get to know about Goa more 🙂 Coming back with the next post really soon. Stay tuned!! Have a great Sunday peeps ❤