The beautiful area called Fontainhas…also known as the Latin quarter. Beautiful architecture of an era gone by, old villas and buildings with projecting balconies painted in traditional colors.
It was in the late 18th century that an expatriate Antonio Joao de Sequeira while working in Mozambique, established Fontainhas. Today another Antonio…a Goan expatriate has reclaimed one of the villas and converted it into a beautiful homestay called Mateus.
Fontainhas means little fountain and it got its name from the foot of the hill which began to sprout in 1770. In 1884 a Government administrator created the Phenis fountain, which had a fine façade and porch. There is a well which till today epitomizes the beauty of the place.
Unfortunately many of the old houses are falling into a neglected condition. Lucky there are people like Antonio who brings the place back again to its former glory.
In the past an evening in the Fontainhas would see unmarried women sitting on the roofed gallery steps, wearing colourful flowery dresses, chatting with their neighbours in Portuguese. Or perhaps violinists strumming their instruments. Mateus has retained those balconies which gives the place so much character.
It’s important to hang onto the small parts of Goa’s heritage…..its part of a treasured legacy.