Cabo is the Portuguese word for cape. With the Indian Ocean in the west, the Bay of the river Mandovi , Fort Aguada and busy port of Marmugoa on the North, Cabo Fort is set in a panoramic view of Goa. It was built in 1540 A.D. Located on the south headland of the river Mandovi, the Cabo Palace fortress houses the Franciscan monastery which in1594 A.D became the official residence of the Governor of Goa.
The beauty of the Cape lies in its solitude. A chapel was built at the end of the mansion dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Cabo, the virgin lady of the cape.
Viceroy D. Matias d Albuquerque, a committed devotee in the years between 1591-97 decided to rebuild the chapel and built a monastery beside it. He was an ardent believer of the Franciscans and left instructions that the chapel should be maintained by the believers of the faith and in their absence it should be handed over to the archdiocese for proper maintenance.
Construction of the Fort
The exact date of construction of the fort is not known but in 1540, the eighth Governor of Goa, D. Estevo de Gama, proposed fortification of the mansion to guard the openings to the Mandovi and Zuari rivers.
Bishop de Santa Maria laid the foundation of the monastery on 5th February 1594 and in a period of six months it was completed. Laterite stones were the used to construct the monastery. Laterite extracted from the place left a pit which was formed into a reservoir to store rain water that was carried by the sloping roofs of the edifices.
The Raj Niwas
The Cabo Palace is now known as the Raj Bahavan, the official residence of the Governors of the States In India. The Darbar Hall, is the official reception area used for the swearing ceremonies and other official occasions. The official reception area consists area consists of a large hall called the Darbar Hall, used at the time of receptions and swearing in ceremonies and other official occasions.
The Dining room has a seating capacity of over 30 persons. There are three suites and seven double rooms for guests. The offices of the Governor, his secretariat and staff are located on the ground floor in a separate annex.
Collectibles Within The Palace
Bohemian Chandeliers, Chinese porcelain, silver and wooden furniture form the assets of Raj Bhavan. The beautiful pieces of antique Chinese porcelain presumably manufactured in Canton, a worn-out set of crockery having a similar design with same coat of arms were specially ordered for the use of the Portuguese Governor General.
An excellent collection of high quality wooden furniture with exquisite workmanship, a set of intricately carved chairs with figurines of Hindu Gods and Temples indicate the complete harmony between Christians and Hindus that existed in Goa.
Cabo Fort Goa is an enchanting place worth to be visited. For information related to Cabo Fort log on to GoaHub.
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