Visiting 10 Hindu temples in 10 days, all dedicated to the planets and deities, was a window into the concentrated energy and spiritual life of how Hindus may pray. I caught colorful glimpse of many of these folk carrying out their domestic lives as we drove through street after village street. In my 3+ week South India sojourn there was only one private house I entered into. It was a good one.
Regarded as the grandest of Goa’s colonial mansions, The Braganza-Perreira house is prominently sited in Chandor Village square. The house was built in 1500 by the wealthy Braganza family for their two sons. The two story facade has 28 windows flanking its entrance.
So remarkable about this historic home is that the original family still lives here. The present day children are 16th generation. And apart from a brief 20th century hiatus, the Braganza-Perreira family has lived here continuously for over 500 years.
The expansive rooms are set in a large U shape around an inner courtyard and the airy tiled interiors contain a vast collection of antiques and treasures collected from travels and gifts from the past 500 years.
Bedroom. Not being used.
Grand Ballroom of the Braganza-Perreira house. This great salon is my favorite of the house’s airy tiled rooms. Deep periwinkle zinc ceilings soar above blue grey walls with double height roman arched French doors edged in new green. Chandeliers from Murano, Italy. The effect is graceful and grounding, transporting me magically back in time, imagining gorgeous dances and parties held here.
Pail of matching high-backed chairs, presented to the family by King Dom Luis of Portugal occupy place of pride in the Grand Ballroom. The great grandfather of the house’s current resident (and our tour guide) was the Viceroy to Spain…
Hallway arcade running the lengths of the rooms along the inner courtyard. The glass light fixtures and pendants are from Belgium.
Our gracious hosts, Ashley Braganza-Perreira and his mother. 15th and 14th generations, respectively. To visit this family’s home was a treat, rooting the present day branch into a larger trunk of time.