Located 9 km to east of Panaji, Old Goa was the erstwhile capital of the Portuguese dominions in Goa. Before the arrival of the Portuguese on the Goan shores, Old Goa was the regal capital of Sultan Adil Shah of Bijapur. After defeating the armies of the Sultan, the Portuguese led by Alfonso de Albuquerque started building their empire around Old Goa.
As the epicenter of Portuguese territory, Old Goa witnessed the
profusion of magnificent churches and majestic buildings befitting the
stature of the city. During its halcyon days, Old Goa became famous as
the "Lisbon of the East." But soon recurring outbreaks of
epidemics like cholera and malaria made the city highly inhospitable and
the Portuguese moved their capital to Panaji in 1843.
With the patrons taking shelter elsewhere, Old Goa lost its
pre-eminence and the awe-inspiring structures of the city were gradually
reduced to ruins. Accorded the World heritage Site status by UNESCO, the
opulent buildings and churches of Old Goa today reminds one of the
grandeur of a bygone era.