The Colorful & Heritage neighbourhood of Fountainhas in Goa - A Place with Old Latin Quarters and a perfect Indo-Portuguese vibe

Recently I was in Goa again and it was another monsoon in Goa. If you are regular reader of this blog, you would know that I recommend visiting Goa in Monsoons and here is the blogpost I had shared in 2014. It was a work week so  during the day, we were occupied with lot of action/meetings. During one of the evenings I was walking around the resort with a colleague and Fountainhas was in my mind. I asked if he is willing to walk for 45 minutes to see this place with Old Latin Quarters in the core of Panjim city. That's how we reached this beautiful neighbourhood of Panjim and in this blogpost we are sharing about it, along with some interesting tips about some cool bars, art-pieces, shops, bakeries etc.


Recently I was in Goa again and it was another monsoon in Goa. If you are regular reader of this blog, you would know that I recommend visiting Goa in Monsoons and here is the blogpost I had shared in 2014. It was a work week so  during the day, we were occupied with lot of action/meetings. During one of the evenings I was walking around the resort with a colleague and Fountainhas was in my mind. I asked if he is willing to walk for 45 minutes to see this place with Old Latin Quarters in the core of Panjim city. That's how we reached this beautiful neighbourhood of Panjim and in this blogpost we are sharing about it, along with some interesting tips about some cool bars, art-pieces, shops, bakeries etc.  
Fontainhas is an old Latin Quarter in Panjim. Panjim is capital city of the state of Goa. This place maintains its Portuguese influence, particularly through its vibrant architecture, which includes narrow and picturesque winding streets like those found in many European cities, old villas and buildings with projecting balconies painted in the traditional tones of pale yellow, green, or blue, and roofs made of red coloured tiles.

Fontainhas is an old Latin Quarter in Panjim. Panjim is capital city of the state of Goa. This place maintains its Portuguese influence, particularly through its vibrant architecture, which includes narrow and picturesque winding streets like those found in many European cities, old villas and buildings with projecting balconies painted in the traditional tones of pale yellow, green, or blue, and roofs made of red coloured tiles. 


We were walking from Marriot near Miramar beach and also took a stop at MahaLaxmi temple. From that side, it takes time to find out this part of the Fountainhas and slowing the whole world starts surprising you with beautiful buildings and colourful spaces. We saw above stairs the first, when we entered into Fountainhas after a short descend from Goa High Court. These stairs have custom tiles making beautiful landscapes of a water-stream following Peacock feathers.

We were walking from Marriot near Miramar beach and also took a stop at MahaLaxmi temple. From that side, it takes time to find out this part of the Fountainhas and slowing the whole world starts surprising you with beautiful buildings and colourful spaces. We saw above stairs the first, when we entered into Fountainhas after a short descend from Goa High Court. These stairs have custom tiles making beautiful landscapes of a water-stream following Peacock feathers. 


A few meters away on the same street, we saw the temple you see in above photograph. But there were no signs of Latin Quarters we were searching for. Then we asked a lady who was selling fresh vegetables near this temple and she directed us to a street which was perpendicular to the street you see above.

A few meters away on the same street, we saw the temple you see in above photograph. But there were no signs of Latin Quarters we were searching for. Then we asked a lady who was selling fresh vegetables near this temple and she directed us to a street which was perpendicular to the street you see above. 


Then we came across this beautiful yellow building which looked like a small apartments kind of setup, where a few families must be living. We are not sure what exactly this building was but there is a bright blue building in front of this one, which is school of Fountainhas. Interesting we saw a few more schools in Panjim and all of them had same blue color but different names. So we were wondering if these is any color scheme for Schools, Hospitals, Libraries etc.

Then we came across this beautiful yellow building which looked like a small apartments kind of setup, where a few families must be living. We are not sure what exactly this building was but there is a bright blue building in front of this one, which is school of Fountainhas. Interesting we saw a few more schools in Panjim and all of them had same blue color but different names. So we were wondering if these is any color scheme for Schools, Hospitals, Libraries etc. 


Here is a photograph of Fountainhas School and you can see a small part of the yellow building on right of the school. School has pretty huge building as you can imagine by looking at above photograph. Fontainhas is the oldest Latin quarter of Panjim and is similar to a Mediterranean city. Located at the foot of the Altinho Hills, it is bounded on the west by the hills with springs from which its name derives. Fontainhas in Portuguese is for "little fountain". On the east side, it has an ancient creek known as the Ourem Creek.

Here is a photograph of Fountainhas School and you can see a small part of the yellow building on right of the school. School has pretty huge building as you can imagine by looking at above photograph. Fontainhas is the oldest Latin quarter of Panjim and is similar to a Mediterranean city. Located at the foot of the Altinho Hills, it is bounded on the west by the hills with springs from which its name derives. Fontainhas in Portuguese is for "little fountain". On the east side, it has an ancient creek known as the Ourem Creek. 


Every year, the historic houses in Fontainhas are turned into art galleries, with residents displaying their artworks an Goan heritage, unique architectural features of their balconies, and furnishings in their dining halls. This happens for a week and can be very interesting time to visit Goa and learn about it's Art Heritage.

Every year, the historic houses in Fontainhas are turned into art galleries, with residents displaying their artworks an Goan heritage, unique architectural features of their balconies, and furnishings in their dining halls. This happens for a week and can be very interesting time to visit Goa and learn about it's Art Heritage. 


The Fontainhas festival is an art and culture festival held in the month of February in Goa. The Fontainhas festival is an attempt to create awareness about Goan heritage among younger generations and in turn aiming to preserve the distinct cultural scene prevalent in Goa. The Goan heritage of music, dance and art is closely connected to its Portuguese counterpart and is well displayed at this festival. Singers and dancers from across the world come here to perform on this occasion. Every day there are musical and dance events. The festival provides an opportunity for the artists to expand their network. I can imagine how vibrant this place must be looking during the festival time.

The Fontainhas festival is an art and culture festival held in the month of February in Goa. The Fontainhas festival is an attempt to create awareness about Goan heritage among younger generations and in turn aiming to preserve the distinct cultural scene prevalent in Goa. The Goan heritage of music, dance and art is closely connected to its Portuguese counterpart and is well displayed at this festival. Singers and dancers from across the world come here to perform on this occasion. Every day there are musical and dance events. The festival provides an opportunity for the artists to expand their network. I can imagine how vibrant this place must be looking during the festival time. 


If we go into the history of this place - In 1844, a government administrator, who had restored a some order in Goa, directed that even the people of the lower strata of society should appear properly dressed in public. He built an elegant street with a parapet called the Rua Nova d’Ouremsea on the seaward side of the Fontainhas Bairro (Quarter). In the same area, he also created the Phenis fountain, with a façade and porch.

If we go into the history of this place - In 1844, a government administrator, who had restored a some order in Goa, directed that even the people of the lower strata of society should appear properly dressed in public. He built an elegant street with a parapet called the Rua Nova d’Ouremsea on the seaward side of the Fontainhas Bairro (Quarter). In the same area, he also created the Phenis fountain, with a façade and porch.


The Fontainhas had a high population density. The rich lived on Panjim hill in large bungalows, while the less affluent lived at the foot and the east of the hill, hemmed in between the hill and the small tidal creek, which remains dry and emits a foul smell during the low flow season.

The Fontainhas had a high population density. The rich lived on Panjim hill in large bungalows, while the less affluent lived at the foot and the east of the hill, hemmed in between the hill and the small tidal creek, which remains dry and emits a foul smell during the low flow season.


William Dalrymple calls Fontainhas a "small chunk of Portugal washed up on the shores of the Indian Ocean". It is the only area in Goa where Portuguese is still the main spoken language. Fontainhas' heritage ambience represents the traditional Portuguese influence in the area.

William Dalrymple calls Fontainhas a "small chunk of Portugal washed up on the shores of the Indian Ocean". It is the only area in Goa where Portuguese is still the main spoken language. Fontainhas' heritage ambience represents the traditional Portuguese influence in the area.


While we were walking towards Fountainhas from Mahalaxmi Temple, we crossed through some beautiful buildings on the hill. One of them was Goa High Court and another was Goa PWD office. On other side of the road, there are residences of Goa CM & Rajyapal.

While we were walking towards Fountainhas from Mahalaxmi Temple, we crossed through some beautiful buildings on the hill. One of them was Goa High Court and another was Goa PWD office. On other side of the road, there are residences of Goa CM & Rajyapal. 


While walking through the streets of Fountainhas, we realised that there is tension between the locals and tourists. These streets are always full of tourists clicking photographs or making videos. This also disrupts the routine traffic. A lady in front of us hit a girl. This girl was clicking photos by standing in the middle of the road and the lady was riding cycle. As tourists we always need to keep few things in mind which don't disrupt things for locals as that will remain important. We can only enjoy these heritage things when someone local preserved, so when we go there we need to respect the space and people.

While walking through the streets of Fountainhas, we realised that there is tension between the locals and tourists. These streets are always full of tourists clicking photographs or making videos. This also disrupts the routine traffic. A lady in front of us hit a girl. This girl was clicking photos by standing in the middle of the road and the lady was riding cycle. As tourists we always need to keep few things in mind which don't disrupt things for locals as that will remain important. We can only enjoy these heritage things when someone local preserved, so when we go there we need to respect the space and people. 


Above photograph shows a part of Goa High Court which comes of the way to Fountainhas if you are waling from Mahalaxmi Temple.

Above photograph shows a part of Goa High Court which comes of the way to Fountainhas if you are waling from Mahalaxmi Temple. 


It was lovely to come across a Old-Age Club in Fountainhas where people were playing Carrom and cards.

It was lovely to come across a Old-Age Club in Fountainhas where people were playing Carrom and cards. 


The old houses built in the 18th and 19th centuries in the Portuguese architectural style remain in their original colourful elegance with roofs made of red tiles and houses painted in pale yellow, green or blue colours. The Fundacão Orienté, a Portuguese public organization involved in the task of restoration of heritage buildings in Goa is also located in this quarter of Panjim. Fonte Phoenix, a well from a natural spring at one of the quarter's houses, has been refurbished. Many art galleries, which also house exotic cafes, are located here.

The old houses built in the 18th and 19th centuries in the Portuguese architectural style remain in their original colourful elegance with roofs made of red tiles and houses painted in pale yellow, green or blue colours. The Fundacão Orienté, a Portuguese public organization involved in the task of restoration of heritage buildings in Goa is also located in this quarter of Panjim. Fonte Phoenix, a well from a natural spring at one of the quarter's houses, has been refurbished. Many art galleries, which also house exotic cafes, are located here. 


While most aristocrats' mansions have been destroyed to make way for modern buildings, some old houses of erstwhile rich Indo-Portuguese people are still found here. Windows and balconies of some of the houses face the back lanes of the Fontainhas.

While most aristocrats' mansions have been destroyed to make way for modern buildings, some old houses of erstwhile rich Indo-Portuguese people are still found here. Windows and balconies of some of the houses face the back lanes of the Fontainhas.


The houses and the lanes are kept very clean. During Portuguese rule, every urban resident was mandated by law to paint his house every year after the monsoon and this practice is still continued as a tradition.

The houses and the lanes are kept very clean. During Portuguese rule, every urban resident was mandated by law to paint his house every year after the monsoon and this practice is still continued as a tradition.


Travellingcamera is always in love with doors and windows. And it becomes more interesting when there are special colours and a character. This blushing red on the top and wet part at the bottom say a lot about the place. Fountainhas is a place of colours and wet streets, especially in monsoons.

Travellingcamera is always in love with doors and windows. And it becomes more interesting when there are special colours and a character. This blushing red on the top and wet part at the bottom say a lot about the place. Fountainhas is a place of colours and wet streets, especially in monsoons. 


Some of the old structures are not in that good shape and above photograph shows one of them. The ground floor of this building has Joseph Bar and it looked like a cool place. We wanted to spend some time here but it was gettin dark and we had to walk more before some other commitments. Joseph Bar will be in my list next time because I loved the vibe of this space and the street where it's located.

Some of the old structures are not in that good shape and above photograph shows one of them. The ground floor of this building has Joseph Bar and it looked like a cool place. We wanted to spend some time here but it was gettin dark and we had to walk more before some other commitments. Joseph Bar will be in my list next time because I loved the vibe of this space and the street where it's located. 


This closed gate is next to the Joseph Bar I mentioned. For Travellingcamera it was an art setup with so many interesting elements in it. Fountainhas has a very different vibe. I am sure Goa has so many such places with very different vibe. I have been to many such cool places in Goa and there are a lot more to explore.

This closed gate is next to the Joseph Bar I mentioned. For Travellingcamera it was an art setup with so many interesting elements in it. Fountainhas has a very different vibe. I am sure Goa has so many such places with very different vibe. I have been to many such cool places in Goa and there are a lot more to explore. 


After wonderful walk around Fountainhas, we concluded our walk around the famous Immaculate Conception Church. We wanted to take a break for quick meal and drinks, but my friend had to jump onto a call. So while he was on call, we walked towards our resort and concluded the day with more chit-chat with office friends. Since our resort was on the beach, we were staying late around the beach. More about this trip in upcoming blogposts about Goa.

After wonderful walk around Fountainhas, we concluded our walk around the famous Immaculate Conception Church. We wanted to take a break for quick meal and drinks, but my friend had to jump onto a call. So while he was on call, we walked towards our resort and concluded the day with more chit-chat with office friends. Since our resort was on the beach, we were staying late around the beach. More about this trip in upcoming blogposts about Goa.  

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