Wednesday, September 29, 2010


A peek into the interior of these heritage houses...

Indo Portuguese houses of Goa

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Amalgamation of the Indian and the Portuguese

The traditional Indo – Portuguese house is a unique combination of the Indian and the Portuguese architectural design. The contribution of the Portuguese way of architecture was an additional dimension to the already defined interior style of the Indian houses. Indo Portuguese civil architecture was based fundamentally on the interconnection and reciprocal social intercourse between the two architectural models; the local Hindu model.

Within this interconnection; whilst Portuguese architecture acquired a position in relation to the structure and the design of the fa├žade, the Hindu architectural style controlled the interiors, displaying a strong resistance to the Portuguese spatial styles. Thus, the locals still displayed a strong sense of Nationalism and Individuality.

The cultural fusion affected the house design which displayed the European lifestyle as against the local Goan way of living. It symbolised the Portuguese influence on the local tradition, culture and also displayed a subtle acceptance of the European Dominance. These houses provided a status quo to the owners of the houses displaying their superiority in wealth and their connections to the Portuguese masters.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Indo – Portuguese houses are a tale by itself. A tradition, a culture so rich in itself  that it is a treat , a delight to the viewer’s eye. Every house depicts it’s own twisted history, its own dimension of it’s existence. Attributing to the culture, these houses add their own significant arena to the culture of Goa.  

These houses belong to an era dominated by the erstwhile Portuguese that ruled Goa, thus their architectural influence and design. Importantly, these houses have withstood the changing times and have been mentioned in areas of architectural beauty and design. Significantly, they have been an inspiration for art and culture lovers around the world.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Casas Antigas

On the back roads where people are few and far between, where silence is left to its own devices, shattered only occasionally by a motorbike curving past you, it’s easy to be lulled into the melody of a melancholy road winding past old Portuguese-era homes.

The State of Goa is proud of its heritage and encourages you to come in person to take a guided tour of the restored Portuguese Homes and Palaces. The identification, preservation, conservation, protection and rehabilitation of buildings, structures, streetscapes, areas and districts of historic, architectural or cultural value, in both urban and rural areas, and to encourage their continued use has been a driving force behind several restoration projects undertaken by the state and several individuals recently.

The first thing you notice as you stroll in the Goa heritage houses is the grand architectural style of the Portuguese era. These houses are built in such distinct styles, that very rarely can you see any other house that matches the style, the art and the splendor of these heritage homes. These houses are inspired by the European architectural flavor and style. Mostly, the houses are built from red laterite stones and sometimes wood with the roofs decorated with terracotta tiles. These heritage homes are also decorated with all the best things found in the world. Some heritage homes in Goa for instance are filled with porcelain from China, mirrors from Venice, Chandeliers from Belgium and intricately crafted furniture from the local craftsman. Tourists can visit these houses only if they have written permission from the concerned authorities. It is therefore advisable to plan your visit to these heritage homes well in advance