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Goa's Old Secretariat Building is a portal to the state's history!

Famously known as the 'Idalcao Palace', the monument gets its moniker from 'Hidalcão'.

Built in the early 16th century by the ruler of Bijapur Sultanate, Yusuf Adil Shah, the Old Secretariat Building is a testament to the rich Goan history. Located right across the Mandovi River, the erstwhile secretariat is home to the Goa State Museum at present. Initially built to serve as a summer retreat for the ruler, the building was later converted into a rest house for the Portuguese and then into the State Legislature building for the Government of Goa.

Where does the name 'Idalcao Palace' come from?

Famously known as the 'Idalcao Palace', the monument gets its moniker from 'Hidalcão'- the name that the Portuguese used for Adil Shah. The Sultan of Bijapur lost Goa to the Portuguese in 1510, after being defeated by Alfonso de Albuquerque- the First Duke of Goa. The building was then remodelled to incorporate the ubiquitous Portuguese style of design and architecture. The palace cum fortress of Adil Shah, was then converted to a rest house for the new incoming viceroys from Portugal.

After the upsurge of the life-threatening plague in the 18th century, the capital was moved to Panaji and the palace was turned into the official residence of the viceroys. It remained so till the early 20th century. After the liberation of Goa from the Portuguese in 1961, this heritage building assumed the role of housing the offices of the Government of Goa, which led to its new name- the Secretariat. The Goa State Assembly, however, moved to a new location in the year 2000.

Goa State Museum- a must-visit for history lovers

Established in the year 1977, the Goa State Museum is currently located at the Adil Shah Palace. It has a diversified stack of artefacts that unearth various aspects of Goan history. The extensive collection of the museum includes Portuguese-era coins, furniture, antique lottery machines, Hindu and Jain scriptures and a chariot with detailed carvings.

An exclusive furniture room is another attraction for the visitors. It showcases various wooden pieces from the time of Portuguese colonial rule in Goa. The traditional Mughal design of the palace with renovations by the successive rulers, makes it a key illustrator of the famous 16th-century architecture.

This beautiful standing piece of history is worth the visit as it spells royal Portuguese architecture right from the outset. The archaeological treasures of the museum is an added bonus for history buffs. Due to its strategic location, the colonial building remains undisturbed by the chaotic crowds of the nearby markets.

The uplifted placement of the secretariat building gives away a picturesque view of the capital city, overlooking the river and the bridges connecting Tiswadi and Povorim. So when you plan your next trip to Goa, post-COVID, do include a visit to this historic masterpiece in your itinerary.

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