The Archaeological Museum, Old Goa
(District South Goa, Goa)
The museum was established in 1964 and reorganized in 1981–82. Housed in the convent portion of the church of St. Francis of Assisi, antiquities displayed in 8 galleries include the objects from the prehistoric and early historic period to the late mediaeval period. The importance of this museum lies in the display of the portrait paintings of governors and viceroys, wooden sculptures, pillars, capitals, postal stamps likewise many other objects which belong to the Portuguese period in Goa.
Old Goa – 9 km from Panaji – was once the centre of Portuguese dominion on the west coast of India. Here one can see fortress walls and administrative buildings, monasteries and impressive churches, especially the Basilica de Born Jesus which contains the mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier.
The Archaeological Museum, known for its massive size, is housed in an abandoned convent of St. Francis of Assisi, displays objects that recreate the history of Goa. On display are antiques from Hindu period, sculpture of Hindu deities, for example an Uma-Mahesha, and many sati and hero stones. The large coin collection displays coin issued by various rulers – Hindu, Muslim and Portuguese. The rarities to be found in the Archeological Museum are a couple of beautiful Jain bronzes rescued by customs and excise officials from smugglers. On the ground floor there are photos of the prehistoric rock carvings at Usgalimal.
The paintings in the Archeological Museum include portraits of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer reached India in 1498, and Alfonse Albuquerque, the founder, and other governors, all clad in the prevailing European fashions of the day.
The showcases have been provided to display the important objects the pedestals are prepared to display the heavy stone and wooden objects. The portraits are displayed utilizing both natural and artificial light.
Master pieces in the collection includes: Luis Vaz de Camees, Vishnu with ten incarnation, Surya, Gajalakshmi, wooden sculpture of John the Baptist, ivory sculptures of Jesus Crucification, bronze statue of Albuquerques (first governor of Goa), hero stone, sati stone, Persian and Arabic inscription, portrait paintings of Vasco da Gama, Com Joa de Castro, Portuguese arms like rifle, swords and daggers, etc.
The additional facilities provided for the visitors include the potable drinking water, clean inventory, video show on World Heritage properties in India, children activity center, publication sale counter.
Opening Hours : 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Closed on – Friday
Entrance Fee :
Rs. 5/- per head
(Children up to 15 years free)