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Old Goa

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A one-time byword for splendour with a population of several hundred thousand, Goa’s erstwhile former capital, OLD GOA, was virtually abandoned following malaria and cholera epidemics from the seventeenth century onwards. Today, despite its coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site status, you need considerable imagination to picture the once-great capital as it used to be. The maze of twisting streets, piazzas and ochre-washed villas has gone, and all that remains is a score of cream-painted churches and convents. Foremost among the surviving monuments is the tomb of St Francis Xavier, the legendary sixteenth-century missionary, whose remains are enshrined in the Basilica of Bom Jesus.

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