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Historical Description[]

Situated on the western coast of India, Goa is one of the oldest inhabited sites in the subcontinent. In 1510, the admiral Afonso de Albuquerque conquered the city, beginning several centuries of Portuguese rule during which it became known as the ‘Lisbon of the East.’ The governors of Goa administered all of Portugal’s possessions from Africa to the East Indies, as well as the important trading post of Macau in China.

Unlike the other Portuguese ‘factories’ which were primarily naval and military fortresses, Goa was developed as a center of trade and culture in its own right. Its prosperity waned with the arrival of the Dutch in India in the early 17th century. Their predations led to the downfall of Portugal’s eastern empire in general, and the Portuguese shifted their colonial attentions to Brazil. Goa was the only Portuguese possession in India that was never taken, remaining under Portugal’s control even after India achieved independence from the British in 1947. Only after the Indian army invaded the city in 1961 did Portugal give it up, finally ending the era of colonialism in the subcontinent.

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