Menezes Braganza Institute & Panaji Central Library
Menezes Braganza Institute & Panaji Central Library information
At the northwest corner of the Azad Maidan, the Menezes Braganza Institute and the city’s Central Library, the oldest public library in India, occupy part of the old buildings that were once the Portuguese army headquarters.
It’s worth poking your head in at the building’s west entrance, to examine the grand and dramatic azulejos (traditional painted ceramic tiles) adorning the wall, which depict scenes from Os Lusíadas, a famously epic and glorious Portuguese poem by Luís Vaz de Camões that tells the tale of Portugal’s 15th- and 16th-century voyages of discovery.
Much of the upper floor of the building is given over to the Menezes Braganza Institute, which was founded in 1871 as a scientific and literary institution. Originally called the Institute Vasco da Gama, it was renamed in 1963 in honour of the champion of the Goan Independence movement, Luís de Menezes Braganza. The institute has a small art gallery that contains some rare prints and paintings.