It’s a tale of a neighbourhood where time seems to have stood still for despite being in Goa, India; you will think you are in Europe.
- With the Ourem Creek on its east and the Altinho hill on its west, Fontainhas is Panaji's oldest Latin Quarter.
- It derives its name from the ‘Fountain of Phoenix’ that was constructed during the Portuguese rule in Goa. One can still spot the fountain on their way to the Maruti temple in the Mala area.
- A wealthy Portuguese by the name of ‘Mossmikar’ reclaimed the present area of Fontainhas.
- He used it for coconut plantations. Repeated outbreaks of Plague in the 18th century forced the Portuguese government to move their administrative buildings from Old Goa to Panjim which subsequently led to the urbanisation of Fontainhas.
What’s On Offer?
- This old Latin Quarter is best explored on foot. As you walk on little pathways reminiscent of European lanes shown on our TV sets, you are bound to get lost.
- The development of the neighbourhood was haphazard, a local is best to help you sort out directions.
- One of Fontainhas’ unusual feature is their streets names. There’s the 31st January Road which was named after Portugal’s independence from Spain on January 31, 1640.
- Another such road is The 18th June Street—marks the civil obedience date which led to Goa’s liberation from Portugal in 1961.
- As you traverse these streets, the houses cast a striking sight. Painted in oranges, blues, yellows, reds, or greens; they are miles away from the usual ones we see every day.