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Rachol Fort

At Rachol, 7 K.M northeast of Margao, rises proudly from the crest of laterite hillock, surrounded by the dried-up moat of an old Muslim fort and rice fields that extend east to the banks of the nearby Zuari River. During the early days of the Portuguese conquests, this was a border bastion of the Christian faith, perennially under threat from Muslim, and Hindu marauders. Today, its painstakingly restored sixteenth-century church and cloistered theological collage, one wing of which has recently been converted into a museum, lie in the midst of the Catholic heartland. The seminary itself harbors in Old Goa, main road en route to Lutolim, 4K.M further north.

During the sixteenth century before the evangelisation of Goa, Rachol hill was encircled by an imposing fort, built by the Muslim Bahmani Dynasty that founded the city of Ela (Old Goa) The Hindu Vijayanagars took it from the Sulatan of Bijapur in the fifteenth century and was ceded to the Portuguese in 1520 in exchange for military help against the Muslims. Today the stone archways spans the road to the seminary is the only fragments left standing.

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