Old Goa - Today
PORTICO do PALACIO DA FORTALEZA
(PORTICO OF PALACE OF THE FORTRESS)
On the left side of the Arch of Vice-Roy, and connected
to it, was the Palace of the Vice-Roy which was formerly
the castle of Adil Shah. The former Muslim castle was
rebuilt by Afonso de Albuquerque.
The captains of the ships used to live here. There are
no vestiges of Palaclo da Fortaleza. This palace was
a three storeyed building.
Since 1510, the Vice-Roy and the Governors lived in
the palace of Adil Shah, in the centre of the city.
But in 1554 the Vice-Roy D. Pedro Mascarenhas transferred
his residence to the castle of Adil Shah on account
of his old age - he was 70 - and the inabuity to climb
the stairs of the three floored palace. Subsequently
the Adil Shah's castle was named as the castle of the
Vice-Roy or the Pa/ado da Fortaeza. On both the sides
there were two square towers. The tower on the eastern
side had three storeys. The one on the western side
had two towers and was set up on the doorway of the
quay (subsequently Arch of the Vice-Roy. This tower
had a large hall adorned with paintings depicting Portuguese
wars in India.
The palace offered all the luxuries & comforts to
the Vice-Roy. The Vice-Roy would come out on rare occasions
in a golden palanquin accompanied by around 400 noblemen
on their horses. He was guarded in the palace by 100
Portuguese soldiers who wore a blue uniform.
The chapel of the palace was built in 1553. It was connected
to the Royal hall. He had two Chaplains, one of them
would accompany the Vice-Roy, whenever he was traveling.
Everyday, the Vice-Roy would hear mass from his tribune.
His successors continued to live there till 1696, when
Count of Villa Verde changed the residence to the palace
of S. Pedro in Panelim, due to an epidemic.
The most important public business of the State was
trans-acted in this palace till 1812 when its roof fell
down; subsequently the palace was demolished in 1830.
There was a spacious hall in this palace with paintings
of the ships with their names as well as those of their
captains who had come to India since Vasco-da-Gama.
Unfortunately all these paintings have disappeared.
The life size portraits of Vice-Roys and Governors which
are today exhibited in the Archaeological Museum, adorned,
formerly, another hall of this palace. The Vice-Roy
held his meetings here and received the Ambassadors.
The well known traveller Pyrard de Laval presents a
vivid description of the splendour which surrounded
the Vice-Roys in this palace.