It was one of the gates of King Adil Shah’s palace at Old Goa. The Portuguese renovated it in their style and used it as the gateway to Goa for Portuguese Governors. Every new governor appointed, used to get down here and pass under it. It was renovated in Portugues style by portuguese governor Francisco de Gama (1597-1600) in the memory of his great-grandfather Vasco da Gama who first discovered the sea route to India.
Once a part of the old walled city, the Viceroy's Arch was a means to enter into Old Goa. Much like the first settlers did, following the road up from the water, through the archway brought you into a rich and thriving Portuguese colony.
Erected by Vasco da Gama's grandson, Viceroy Francisco da Gama in 1597, it was decorated with da Gama's coat of arms and a statue of da Gama himself. The orginal side facing the river collapsed and what you see to day is a restoration that took place in 1954. On the opposite side is a statue of a woman holding a sword over another woman. It is believed there was a third storey as well which had statue of St. Catherine.
The Viceroy's residence was to the left of the archway, or it was anyway. This is the site of the old Yussuf Adil Shah palace. Once he was removed from power, his palace was then used as a residence. The road you walk through the archway, and up to the city was called the Rua Direita which would have been a main commercial area. Tradition has it that on taking office, all viceroys made the procession under the arch where they would be given the ceremonial key to the city and Goa.