The Viceroy Arch - time-honorned Portuguese monument, old Goa

The Viceroy Arch, old Goa. GoaHolidayHomes
Vasco da Gama's statue on the viceroy Arch, Goa. Alamy

 The European colonialism has its roots in Goa with the establishment of a Portuguese colony in the 16th century. No doubt, Goa is home to countless Portuguese monuments that include churches, forts, bungalows, etc. Among the time-honoured vestiges of by-gone Portuguese era, the Viceroy Gate is of particular interest to us. It was the gateway to new era of colonialism in India and later British  Imperialism  here.

The Viceroy Arch on the jetty of Goa (located at a distance of 10-km from Margao) built in 1599 as a memorial to Vasco da Gama, the daredevil who discovered the first sea route to India in 1499 is not only symbolic of the past Portuguese colonial era but also it acts as a passage into the rich Portuguese history in this part.  The Viceroy Arch has a unique and rich aura about it because, it is said, that each viceroy had to pass through this arch before he took his office.  Constructed in the  Maneuline style of architecture, the arch  has elements of the Italian renaissance design. The other associated features are motifs like swathes of seaweed, coral, conch shells, cupids, angels and other works of art.

The Viceroy Arch,
 Francis da Gama (Viceroy 1597-1600 and great grandson of Vasco da Gama), built the original arch after their conquest of the city; in the later period, the arch underwent some changes. In 1854, the Arch was built and embellished with beautiful floral designs that added  zest to this historical structure. Laterite and greenish granite stones are diligently used in the structure. One can see the the statue of St Catherine on top and Vasco da Gama on the granite facade facing the river.  Gothic inscriptions are engraved on the archway. One inscription on it is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, commemorating the emancipation of Portugal from Spain in 1656. 

 Not withstanding the vagaries of time, the Viceroy Arch, a Portuguese legacy now stands there as if it were  a sentinel of time that waits for none.


01. In the  17th century, people who landed at quay had to pass through this arch. Likewise, the new viceroy from Portugal would be ceremoniously given the key under this arch.

02. The Viceroy Arch serves as a god's  gateway to the famous Church of St. Cajetan built in Greek architecture. You may call it a replica of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.