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 Saini Francis Xavier. The Archaeological Museum, housed in an abandoned convent of St. Francis of Assisi, displays objects that recreate the history of Goa. On display are antiquities 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 paintings include portraits of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer reached India in 1498, and Alfonsu Albuquerque, the founder, and other governors, all clad in the prevailing European fashions of the day.
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