The façade of Solar dos Monteiros presents a striking sight to anyone driving across Salcette in south Goa. This handsome house is set by the main road in the village of Assolna. Solar is Portuguese for manor. I was in the area last month and on a lark walked up and knocked on the door. We were warmly received by the owners Celina and Dr. Armando Monteiro. The delightful couple and their gentle manner cut a picture of old world Goa at its finest.
The family mansion dates back to 1730. Its large salas (Portuguese for halls) exemplify the stately Goan houses of that era. Of particular interest is a secondary porch inside with its mezzanine stage for performing musicians during special events hosted at the mansion. The Monteiros have a record of service to the community and are descended from a line of teachers, doctors and freedom fighters.