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By The Leela

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Unearth the architectural landmarks of Goa

When you hear the word ‘Goa’, the only things that come to your mind are beaches, nightlife and adventure. But there’s another side to Goa that is beautiful – its architectural landmarks. Influenced by Indian, Mughal and mainly Portuguese, these structures are a sight not to be missed. Every street that you wonder, you will come across a beautiful piece of architecture that reflects Goa’s rich past. Here is a list of Goa’s architectural landmarks that should not be missed.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

This is one of the first attractions that tourists throng after entering Goa. Situated in Old Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus was sanctified in 1605 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Functioning for over 450 years, this church is noteworthy for its ornate architecture that goes back to the late 16th century; this architectural style is unique to India.

The church has splendid interiors designed in Mosaic-Corinthian style. The gold altar is predominantly striking. It also has a glass coffin placed in a silver casket that has the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, a popular Spanish missionary.

Se Cathedral

Not only is Se Cathedral among the oldest churches in Goa, it is UNESCO World Heritage Site and also one of the largest churches in Asia. Built in the 16th century, It’s architecture is an amalgamation of Gothic and Portuguese styles. The exterior of the church is in Tuscany style, while the interior is Corinthian style. With the colossal bell, known as the 'Golden Bell’, Se Cathedral is a must-visit spot in Goa. It is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. 

Cabo Raj Bhavan

Built in the mid-16th century, Cabo Raj Bhavan hold centuries of stories. The Bhavan is double-storey with Governor’s residence and office chamber at the ground level, and upper level as the Darbar hall. It houses a range of antique artefacts and collectables, including period furnishings, Bohemian chandeliers, Chinese porcelain and silverware that beautifies it even further. There is also a small chapel in the compound that was founded by the Portuguese and called as ‘Our Lady of the Cape Church’. The Raj Bhavan also has lovely views of the Zuari River and Mandovi River.

Fort Aguada

Built in 1612, the Portuguese built this fort to safeguard Old Goa the Martha and Dutch attacks. There was a freshwater spring inside the fort that provided water to sailors that halted near the fort, hence it was named 'Aguada’, which means ‘Water’ in Spanish. Its architecture displays various characteristics of Portuguese style. Interestingly, Fort Aguada is also popular for housing Asia’s first-ever lighthouse. Parts of Fort Aguada serve as a prison, while the lovely panoramic view of the sea from the lighthouse is a sight to behold.

After you’re done partying and exploring the beaches of Goa, do pay a visit to these architectural landmarks. You can find a lot of 5 star hotels in Goa that have amazing facilities. Goa’s hotel packages are a crowd-puller. In Goa, hotel deals are very easy to be found as tourists throng this state all year long. While there are numerous establishments in Goa, its resort packages are extremely pocket-friendly. So, what are you waiting for? Take your well-deserved vacation now!