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Location : Opposite Fort Aguada
Built In : 1540 AD
Significance : Residence of the Governor of the State.
Cabo Raj Niwas was built in 1540 AD just opposite the famous Aguada fort in its south. The Cabo Place contains within its premises the Franciscan monastery, which was converted into the official residence of the governor of Goa in 1549 AD. This was originally a palace fortress from where you can enjoy the most panoramic view of Goa, enclosed by Indian Ocean at the west, Bay of Mandovi River and Aguada Fort at the north and port of Mormugao in another side. This palace fortress has been left abandoned for centuries. It is believed that the isolated site of this fortress brought about the deserting of this citadel.
The uniqueness and beauty of Cabo Raj Niwas lies in its solitude and well-planned features. There is a small chapel constructed near the end of the mansion, which is dedicated to Our Virgin Lady of The Cape i.e., Nossa Senhora do Cabo. This chapel used to serve as a landmark for the seafarers.
The Construction of Cabo Raj Niwas :
The accurate date regarding the construction of the fort was unknown until a discovered note dated 30th June 1541, showed a proposal to locate a Franciscan priest at the chapel, which already existed. It was further discovered that in 1540, the 8th Governor, D. Estevao de Gama, proposed the idea of building fortifications at the site with the purpose of guarding the entrance from Mandovi and Zuari rivers.
Making of the Monastery :
The monastery inside the fortress was build by the solo effort of Viceroy D. Matias d Albuquerque. D. Matias d Albuquerque was a protector of the transformed Franciscan friar, which was called "Recollects". He paid for the entire construction expenses and imposed the condition that Franciscans must look after this chapel. And in case they need to leave this chapel they must had over the charge of maintenance to archdiocese.
The foundation work of the monastery started on 5th February 1594 under the supervision of Bishop de Santa Maria. The work finished within a period of 6 months, i.e., exactly on the date 14th July 1594.
The building was made of laterite blocks which were abundantly available at the site. The pits formed out of extracting laterite stones were covered to build cisterns. These cisterns used to carry rainwater via the sloping roof of the building.
Raj Niwas :
Presently Cabo Palace is known as Raj Bhavan. This is the official name given to the residence of Governors of the States in India. It is the oldest Raj Bahvan and also the finest one too.
The reception area consists of a huge hall named Darbar Hall, which is used during reception and other official programs. The dining room has a sitting arrangement for 30 people. The living room for the governor and his/her family are on the same floor. The verandah of the building runs along the entire portion that gives a panoramic view of Mandovi ay and Arabian Sea. The look from this verandah gives one the feeling of being on a ship’s deck.
Features on Display :
There are several collectibles that are on display inside the mansion such as, Chinese porcelain, Bohemian chandeliers, and antique furniture. The most notable among the articles on display are the pieces of antique Chinese porcelain, probably manufactured in Canton. A worn-out set of crockery is also showcased having the similar design as that of the Chinese porcelain. All these articles were ordered specially for the use of the Portuguese Governor General.
Check out this excellent mansion and its collection in Goa. This will make your Goa trip an awesome experience.