Reis Magos

The village of Reis Magos in Goa‘s Bardez taluka is exquisitely located on the waterline across the bay from Panjim, and is named after the three biblical Magi Kings. Among its treasures are the eponymous church and fort.

The beautiful Church of Reis Magos, built in 1555, is among Goa‘s oldest. Symbols in bas relief around the steps leading up reveal the existence of an earlier Hindu temple at the site. The handsome east-facing façade must be seen in the warm glow of the rising sun (first image below). The annual feast at the church in the first week of January is an important event in the Goan calendar.

The Reis Magos Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1551 soon after their conquest of Bardez and later revitalized in 1703. When the Marathas took over Bardez in 1739, the Portuguese used the redoubts of Reis Magos and Aguada to barely hold on.

The archival photo adduced below discloses the glorious setting. Too bad the barbarians are now at the door, shovels in hand and trucks of concrete in tow.

Reis Magos church at sunrise, Goa

Church of Reis Magos, Goa
5D, 35L

 
The church seen from Reis Magos fort

Seen from Reis Magos fort
5D, 24-105L

 
Early morning worship

Devotion
5D, 24-105L

 
Reis Magos fort - first rays of the sun

Reis Magos Fort - first rays of the sun
5D, 24-105L

 
Sketch by Mario Miranda

Art by Mario Miranda
Reproduced with permission of the Mario Gallery

 
Reis Magos church and fort c. 1900

Reis Magos Church and Fort c. 1900
© Souza & Paul (Central Library Archives)

 
 
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