Goan mansions reflect a dozen of historical upheavals. They reflect the arrival of the Portuguese in 1510 and their stay in Goa till 1961.
Salvador Costa mansion – This mansion in Loutolim, a South Goa village is famous for the many large and beautiful houses spread out in a radius of about 1 km from the nucleus of the village. The Costa mansion was built in the 19th century by two wealthy siblings and priests, Padre Pedrinho and Padre Laurence. Built in the Indian style (low pitched tiled roof, wide verandas) with European accouterments (Gothic- style windows, cluster columns), it's architecture straddles both worlds just as Goa still does.
Solar dos Colacos mansion – is at Ribandar on the left bank of the River Mandovi, mid-way between Old Goa and Panjim. It is built in baroque style with an imposing facade with a spectacular view of islands and the historical churches of Old Goa. It is, probably, the only Goan mansion that faces the river. Typical of the ambivalence of the times, Nazario Colaco II carved a sideboard of his dining room with scenes from the Ramayana. But this is counterbalanced by the strident Catholicism of the family's private chapel.
Pinto de Rosario mansion – in Porvorim, half-way between Panjim and Mapusa, reflects more the joy of possession than reverence for style. Piled up in side-boards and cup- boards are rare pieces of cut-glass, silver, blue china, ivory. The objets d'art are yet to be categorised and dated. But the sheer quantity and doubtless quality of most of the items are quite simply astounding.
Mascarenhas mansion – in Anjuna, north Goa, is classic due to its characteristic 'balcoes'(balconies). It is monumental. The riches overpower you. The seat along the length of the porch are L-shaped, of expensive wood, the glare is cut off with a mixture of brightly coloured stained glass and, as if to contrast it, light tinted flint glass "such as which is no longer made" with fine floral etchings.
Vivian Coutinho mansion – in Fatorda at the entrance of Margao reveals the care that went into the planning of the entrance of a house. The Coutinhos had a well kept garden, the green pleasantly contrasting the red of the masonry seats. They broke the monotony of the red wash and the outer wall, interspersing decorative tiles.
Colaco mansion – The corridor runs along the front facade and faces the Mandovi river. This is the only extant Goan mansion that faces the waterfront. The walls are washed in ox-blood colour, one of the three traditional colours of Goan exteriors, the other being white (very Portuguese) and indigo (very Indian).
Dr Pinto de Rosario mansion – in Porvorim has Indo-Portuguese furniture and European and Chinese knick- knacks. The Italian floor tiling is the highlight of the parlour. Above the exquisitely carved sofa is a Dutch tapestry, a replica of Rembrandt's Night Watch. The love- chair is said to be 200 years old.