Heritage Museums in Old Goa

ASI Museum

The St. Francis of Assisi church’s neighbouring monastery houses the Archaeological Museum, Velha Goa, which is located in Old Goa. Eight galleries are used to display its treasures. The pictures of the long-dead Viceroys and Governors of Goa are thought to be the most significant of them. The Museum’s exhibits are described in greater depth in the first main gallery. A brief history of Goa is presented to the tourists in the form of an open wooden book that is set on a pedestal.

Models of different shikaras (temple towers), thought to have been transported from the ancient Saptakoteshwara Temple ruins on the Divar island in the river Mandovi, are on display in the second gallery. Images of Vetala, which symbolise a distinctive cult that is particularly common in Malabar, may be seen in the third gallery. This collection also features images of Hindu deities. The fourth gallery displays hero-stones and sati­ stones of the mediaeval period. The fifth gallery has Marathi inscriptions from the 16th to the 17th century as well as Arabic and Persian inscriptions from the AdilShahi monarchs of Bijapur. Huge portrait paintings of the Portuguese Governors and Viceroys of Goa are on show in the sixth and seventh galleries, which are spacious rooms on the first floor. These paintings were originally found in Panaji’s Old Secretariat building and private residences.

Archiepiscopal Museum

Inside the Bishop’s Palace, the Archbishop’s Chapel of St. Andrew is protected like a priceless gem. From 494 to 519, mosaics were used to build and decorate the private chapel of the bishops of Ravenna. The collection of the Archiepiscopal Museum is housed inside the chambers of the Bishop’s Palace and includes epigraphs, the Cathedral treasury, mosaic fragments from the historic Basilica of Ursus, and most notably, the ivory throne of the bishop Maximian (6th century).

Museum of Christian Art

The scenic Holy Hill in Old Goa is home to the Museum of Christian Art (MoCA), which resides inside the Convent of Santa Monica dating back to the 17th century. The artifacts at MoCA are renowned for their antiquity and distinct Indo-Portuguese influence, and they have drawn tourists and researchers from all over the world, not only from India. The Museum of Christian Art is a nonprofit, apolitical organisation created in the public’s interest to conserve and safeguard Goa’s rich cultural legacy, artistic creations, and significant historical and architectural structures.

The Museum is home to a significant and unique collection of works of Christian art that date from the 16th century to the middle of the 20th century. The artwork from the institution’s collection has been displayed in custom-designed display cases with the right lighting and climate control in the new museum layout. In order to aid in the understanding of the development of Indo-Portuguese art history, the collection has also been divided into categories based on the materials they are made of and placed in chronological sequence.

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