Figueiredo House: Stay at This Portuguese Mansion Older Than the Taj Mahal

Namrata Dhingra

Last updated: Jan 11, 2018

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Owing to its colonial legacy, Goa has a rich cultural heritage, with historic churches, vintage houses and ancient buildings dotting its scenic landscape. One of the most impressive of these, the Figueiredo House in Loutolim, brings together the best of the East and the West – a fine combination of rich Indian extravagance and Portuguese design. The fascinating aspect of this 16th century mansion is that it is several decades older than the Taj Mahal! Be prepared to get transported to another era, a time of opulent lifestyle, grand receptions and lavish entertainment of the elite.

The Figueiredo Family

Picture a classic 16th century Portuguese mansion, with a beautiful Bougainvillea laden porch, magnificent interiors, and sprawling greens all around. Sounds like a painting, doesn’t it? Set amidst the idyllic beauty of paddy fields and coconut palms in Loutolim, Figueiredo House presents a charming sight. This historic mansion was built in 1590 for the Podiars, a Goan family who converted to Christianity and took the name Figueiredo. Besides the Portuguese influence and the Indian elements, Figueiredo House reflects the glorious history of the Figueiredo family and their rise to power.

One of Goa’s most influential families, the Figueiredos served as diplomats and ambassadors in the Portuguese Parliament. In the 18th century, as they rose to power, new sections were added to their beautiful mansion, to give it its current proportions. The heiress and current owner of the Figueiredo House, Maria de Lourdes Figueiredo de Albuquerque, was the first and youngest woman in the Portuguese Parliament. After spending 60 years abroad, she returned to Goa, and has since devoted her time to maintain and restore the house to its original grandeur.

Read More: Exploring Portuguese Goa 

The Figueiredo Museum

The Figueiredo House Ballroom

Since 2010, a part of this marvelous house has been opened to public as the Figueiredo Museum. This miraculously preserved section presents the finest example of Portuguese elements and rich Indian aesthetics of the colonial era.

Its overwhelming interiors, and exotic collection of furnishings, silks and artefacts, handpicked from all over the world, is as good as it was generations ago.

Feel part of a period movie as you step into the grand ballroom and the majestic dining hall, designed with exquisite elegance, with heavy teak wood furniture and floor, reminiscent of grand dinners and balls. The Belgian crystal chandeliers, antique Chinese porcelain, leather-upholstered chairs from Portugal, floor mosaics made up of tiles from Italy, and wooden furniture with intricate carvings of Krishna and other Indian gods, lions and coconut trees, are all preserved with their centuries-old magnificence still intact. Add to that, long-standing paintings of ancestors of the Figueiredo family looking down at you, redolent of their splendid past. 

For the best experience, schedule a visit in advance, and the lady of the house along with her daughter, will be happy to take you around and reveal fascinating stories of the Figueiredo family and this grand old mansion.

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The Figueiredo Heritage Inn

The Figueiredo House
The Figueiredo House

Ever wondered what it would be like to stay in a grand colonial house? Here is your chance to experience this 400-year-old heritage home from close quarters! Set in the oldest part of the Figueiredo Mansion, the Figueiredo Heritage Inn offers the perfect stay amidst charming old-world décor. Its impeccably tasteful furnishings, vintage setting and original antique furniture, are coupled with modern comforts such as Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Named after the ladies of the Figueiredo family, the beautifully done-up rooms and suites will definitely make you want to stay for long, while the gorgeous common areas and lovely corners, each with intriguing stories behind them, will leave you fascinated with the beauty and history of this house. Sit back and relax in the beauty of the garden courtyard, enjoy some quiet time on the sun deck, borrow a book from the family library, and savour breathtaking views all around from the balcony. The Figueiredo Heritage Inn makes for a memorable stay, and that too at not a very high price!

Whether you’re staying at the grand Figueiredo Mansion or just visiting, this heritage home is sure to leave you with a sense of awe with its centuries-old Indo-Portuguese character, making for a memorable experience that will stay with you forever.

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Figueiredo Museum Admission Fee: INR 200 per person*

Figueiredo Heritage Inn: Starting at INR 4,000 per night*

Location: Loutolim, Goa 

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*Prices may vary