This installment of Panjim Promenade puts the spotlight on Tobacco Square (Largo do Estanco in Portuguese).
The Tobacco Square is bounded by the General Post Office, the São Tomé chapel and Casa da Moeda. What is now the General Post Office originally started out as a depot for trading tobacco whence the name of the Square. The premises then went on to serve as the Police Headquarters for some time. Finally it became the centre of operations of the city’s postal services (Repartição dos Correios).
Within the perimeter of the Tobacco Square was the notorious pillory. It was here that the Portuguese executed the plotters of the Pinto Conspiracy.
Panjim was conceived by Portuguese designers and that vision was brought to fruition by Goa‘s master craftsmen and masons. What emerged over time was a beautiful city unlike any other in India, pleasing to the eye, with the whole in harmony with its parts. That Panjim is now being dismantled and rubbished (read Indianized), the beauty of the old structures supplanted with ugly, low-quality concrete ratholes. It is as if a different species has taken over.
This image of the General Post Office was shot from the location of the aforementioned pillory.
Capela de São Tomé was built in 1849 and received a substantial makeover in 1902.