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Diu fort finds place in New Seven Wonders of Portugal

The local administration in Diu is buoyed by the Portuguese government’s initiative to list the Diu fort as one of the New Seven Wonders of Portugal. The fort is a tourism site in the Union Territory of Diu.

The local administration in Diu is buoyed by the Portuguese government’s initiative to list the Diu fort as one of the New Seven Wonders of Portugal. The fort is a tourism site in the Union Territory of Diu.

The Diu fort and the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa are the only two wonders from India among the seven from across the world selected from the total list of 27 monuments in 16 countries built by the Portuguese during their colonial rule.

The list of new monuments was announced on June 10,the Portuguese National Day,at a ceremony held in Portugal,according to foreign media reports.

The others on the list are: Mazagão Fortress in Morocco,Santiago Old Town in Cape Verde,Saint Paul Church in Macao (China),St. Francis Convent in Ouro Preto (Brazil),and another convent by the same name in Salvador da Baía (Brazil). A total of 239,418 people participated in the selection,voting through the Internet and telephone.

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A major tourism attraction in India,the listing has put Diu and the fort on the world tourist map. “This will certainly give a big boost to the local tourism industry,” said District Collector Sanjay Goel.

He said the surveyors visited the site two months ago. Following a nod from the Indian Embassy and the collector’s office,an extensive shoot of this fort was done.

Diu registers an annual average of 5 lakh tourists from India and abroad. The number of foreign tourists,however,has been under 1 lakh. But the listing is expected to change the scenario.

“We expect more European tourists now,” said Goel.

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This fort was constructed in 1535 by the Portuguese as part of a defence alliance with the Sultan of Gujarat Bhadur Shah when he was attacked by Mughal emperor Humayun.

In the following decades,several attempts were made to conquer the fort,but in vain. Finally it was reconstructed by the fourth Viceroy of Portugal,Dom Joao de Castro,in 1541.

The expansive and imposing structure is situated on the coast of the island. The fort commands a magnificent view of the sea. It is skirted by the sea on three sides. On the fort stands a giant light house. Several canons still maintain vigil from the top of the fort. The main front wall has five huge windows with stone galleries. The fort has been creatively lit,which creates a breathtaking view at night.

First published on: 13-06-2009 at 12:49:29 am
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