Few people who visit the Old Goa Churches know of the Viceroy's Arch that lies on the bank of the Mandovi river behind the Se Cathedral.It was erected in 1599 by Viceroy Francisco da Gama (great grand son of Vasco Da Gama) to commemorate the achievements of the discoverer of the sea route to India from Europe. It carries the deer crest of his family. On top of the arch on the side facing the Mandovi river is a small statue of Vasco da Gama, fully attired in his royal uniform. On the back of the arch is a statue of a crowned woman standing on a "native", aptly symbolizing the colonial takeover of Goa.The arch leads to a dock on the Mandovi.For Portuguese officials, this arch was once the main portal for entering Old Goa or Velha Goa as they called it. The original arch collapsed in 1948 and it was restored in 1954.
The road running from the dock through the Viceroy’s Arch and into the city was known as the Rua Direita (so-named for being the only straight, ‘direct’ street in the city), and was lined, in its prime, with shops, a bazaar, a customs house, foundry and other businesses. The waterfront was fully built-upon, with the whitewashed, red-roofed homes of wealthy merchants thronging its shores, all now figments of a long-vanished past.
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