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Reis Magos Fort, Visit The Oldest Portuguese Fort In Goa

Goa has many forts. When it comes to the oldest one, the Reis Magos Fort has a longstanding history. It served the Bijapur Sultanates, the European colonialist, as a hospital and lately as a prison. This is the best place to visit by a history buff, and fort hunters. Today, this fort is in good condition. It is open to the public and tourists as a cultural heritage center. A day trip is advisable to visit this fort once in the Goa cultural heritage tour.

Reis Magos Fort – History

Reis Magos Fort
Photo of ‘Reis Magos Fort’ by Ashwin Kumar under CC BY-SA 2.0

Adil Shahi ruler of Bijapur first put a military outpost in the year 1493. He took this measure to check foreign and regional invasion. This is because this place was overlooking Panjim. These places stood as a vigil tower until 1551. During this year, the Portuguese took control over this military outpost. They started to build small complexes as their residents. Since then, many developments are happening to build this place as a fort area. In the year 1707, the Portuguese construed a complete fort. Since then, this fort becomes the residence and office for the Portugal colonialists traveling via sea from Lisbon. Until 1798, this fort stood as a vigil for the local invaders. However, the British took control of this fort during the Napoleonic war. Later on, it stood as a military fortification. From the 1990s to 1939, this fort was a prison. Later on, this fort was left abundant due to the natural erosion of rock, soil, and its main structure. You can find its history details in photos and artifacts inside this fort complex.

A little On The Architecture

Still 1493 to the present day, this fort has gone through many addition and alteration of complexes. Laterite rocks are the main building blocks of this fort. They are placed in-between mortar tar. It has many cylindrical bastions for the vigil purpose. There are thirty-three cannons present on the top vigil areas. Inside this fort, there are residential complexes, a garrison house, and storerooms. It does have underground passages. The fort location is in an excellent position in such a way that it was overlooking the Panjim on the Mandovi Riverfront. In the year 2008, this fort was renovated by the Government of Goa and by internal funding given by a monument preservation society. The renovation did not use any of the modern construction materials. This is why this fort is looking like a century-old fort.

See Also -   Champaner, The Historical Town Of Gujarat

Best Time to Visit

November to May is the dry season. You can view the water bodies and Panjim with clear visibility. June to September is the rainy season. Heavy rain will not help you to explore the open places and top floor of the Bastian and vigil tower.

How to reach

Reis Magos Fort is in North Goa. This fort is just 7-km away from Panjim. Locally, you can hire a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach this fort. Dabolim airport is 30-km away from this fort. The nearest railway station to alight for this fort is Vasco Da Gama.

 Featured Photo of ‘Weather Vane, Reis Magos Fort’ by Ian D. Keating under CC BY 2.0

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