Old Goa - Today
PALACIO ARQUIEPISCOPAL DE GOA
OU PALACIO ANTIGO DOS ARCEBISPOS
This was the residence of the Archbishops. It was built
before the Se Catedral. Even when the Se was not completed,
Pyrard de Laval found this palace to be inhabited by
Archbishop D. Fr. Aleixo de Menezes. A two storeyed
building marked by simplicity. It is linked to the Se
Catedral and Convent of S. Francisco de Assis. In fact,
a portion where at present the Canons live is not visible
because it is hidden by a portion of Se Catedral. There
is a staircase leading from the sacristy passage of
Se Cathedral to the Palace. It has a Chapel with a beautiful
altar dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Carmo. Its gilt
wood work is still well preserved. Besides the internal
palace door, it had an entrance from outside with a
flight of 20 granite steps reaching to the level of
The Archbishops would live on the first floor. Behind
this Chapel there is a door leading to the Convent of
S. Francisco de Assis. It is known that the Archbishop
D. Fr. Aleixo de Menezes would go to the Convent for
night pr service regularly except on Sundays and other
days of obligation when he would go to the Se Catedral.
The same Archbishop would invite 12 poor persons everyday
to sit at his table and all of them would share the
Its entire length was 230 ft. and its breadth was 108
ft. There were many halls for different purposes. In
one of the corridors there were oil portraits of all
the Prelates of Goa which are at present exhibited in
the Hall of the Paço Patriarcal, Panjim, which
is the present residence of the Archbishop Patriarch.
The Archbishops lived there till 1695, when due to an
epidemic along with the Vice-Roys they shifted their
residence to Panelim (S. Pedro) But even later, the
Archbishops would spend some days there, specially Dom
Fr. Manoel de Santa Catarina.
But even in 1925, the prelates would spend some days
in this palace on the occasion of the feasts in Old
Goa. During the 1952 exposition the visiting prelates
and some priests stayed in this palace.
At present, the Vicar of Se and some canons occupy some
of its rooms. Conscious about the heritage and the grandeur
of the pristine days, the Archdiocese of Goa has been
restoring this place so that the old glory may be witnessed
today, even though in its dimness, with the help of
a committee for conservation of the Archiepiscopal Palace
with the Procurator as Convenor and the author of this
bppk as the secretary and Conservation Architect Vikas
Dilwari and Eng. Sylvester de Souza as consultants.
The conservation works are nearing completion.
All the walls of the palace have been decorated with
floral and other designs in maroon colour upto a height
of 1 metre and half, ending with the design of Augustinian
double headed Eagles.
Archbishop D. Fr. Aleixo de Menezes who completed the
construction of this palace was an Augustinian. The
long beams as well as the short beams in all the four
corners of the halls & chapel pulling together the
walls since there were no supporting buttresses) are
extensively carved. It is worthwhile to note that the
Archdiocese maintained this palace before it is reduced
to ruins just like so many other majestic buildings
of Old Goa.