Built in the 17th century, Braganza House is a magnificent Portuguese mansion that extends along one side of the Chandor village square and is spread over 10,000 sq m. Constructed as a single structure by the Braganza family, it was eventually divided into two wings, both of which are now open to tourists. The biggest Portuguese mansion, one-of-its-kind in Goa, it was built on land granted by the king of Portugal to the Braganza family, who were an influential lot. In 1950, the Braganza family fled from the mansion as one the family members was closely associated with the Indian Independence movement against the Portuguese rule.

After India gained freedom from the Portuguese in 1961, the family returned. Tourists can get to witness two chairs that bear the coat of arms gifted to them by the king of Portugal. An architectural marvel, the mansion boasts a Portuguese style outer facade with 24 windows.

A representative or family member is always forthcoming to give tourists a guided tour. The west wing belongs to the Menezes-Braganza family while the east wing is with the Pereira-Braganza family. The latter includes a chapel that houses a relic of St Francis Xavier. Antique artefacts collected over the years make the tour around the structure particularly fascinating. A salon and a ballroom featuring an Italian marble floor with a stunning chandelier and ornate furniture dating back to the 18th century, amplify its charm. The west wing is home to a library, believed to be the first private library in Goa. It contains around 5,000 books collected by Luis de Menezes Braganza (1878-1938), a renowned journalist of his time. Though there is no entry fee, tourists can offer a donation, which is utilised for the maintenance and upkeep of the mansion.

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