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Goan Portugese Houses – Art in Architecture

February 01, 2018 2 min read

Classic Goan Portugese Houses are found all over Goan villages. Some are in great condition, others dilapidated.

Viewed collectively, they represent an art style that belongs to the late 1800s and early 1900s.


A few examples:

And some that have fallen to ruins because the inheritors of these beautiful properties have migrated to other lands…..

Below is a kaleidoscope of the different views of such a house destined for ruin – one that was built in 1917, then fell to neglect completely by 2000…

and was then restored to its original strength and beauty by 2011.

laterite stone walls

Tiles with character

High ceilings

Oyster shell windows

Kitchen Well

The original building was built using the locally available red laterite stones – heavy and rust red with the high iron content. In newer houses, these stones are placed length wise to create the walls, but in the case of this particular house, the stones were laid breadthwise, in order to give it thicker walls.

A layer of mud and jaggery were used as plaster in the original format. This was later replaced with concrete and cement in the restoration.

The gorgeous tiled roof has wooden beams of a length  that created logistical problems in transporting through the villages …  a small army of men was finally needed to carry the beam in certain stretches!

52 feet high ceilings Oyster shell windows, original tiles (see similar tiles in the article on Peranakan culture) ordered from Portugal a century ago…the charm of an old Goan house is simply irresistible!



Finally a few pictures with people living in it….


Grateful for these blessings!



april 2011

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