Secretariat Building

sights / Architecture

Secretariat Building information

Panaji , India
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The oldest colonial building in Goa is the stolid Secretariat. It stands on the site of the grand summer palace of Goa’s 15th-century sultan Yusuf Adil Shah, which was originally fortified and surrounded by a saltwater moat.

After falling to the Portuguese in 1510, the palace was further reinforced and used as a customs post, also serving as temporary accommodation for incoming and outgoing Portuguese viceroys. After the viceroys finally abandoned Old Goa to disease and the elements, the building was adopted as their official residence from 1759 until 1918, when they moved on to the grander coastal buildings at Cabo Raj Bhavan.

From this time onwards the building housed the State Assembly, which now meets in the newer, grander Assembly Complex , located on the hill across the river. Today, it’s home to dry-as-dust government offices, which make for thoroughly unfascinating exploration.

Standing just beside the Secretariat is a far more interesting curiosity: an unusual statue of a man appearing to leer tall over a prone and floundering woman. It’s a tribute to hypnotist Abbé Faria, one of Goa’s most famous sons.