Goa Velha is situated on the north bank of the Zuari River about 12 km from Panaji on the highway to Margao. From atop a hill overlooking this village is a Portuguese built seminary known as the Pilar Seminary where for missionary work Goan priests are trained. It dates from 1613 along with the adjacent church of Our Lady of Pilar. Also centuries ago a Shiva temple of the Kadamba era existed on this hill.
The village Goa Velha was earlier the port capital of the Kadamba dynasty and was known as Gopakapttana or Govepuri. The port had wide trade contacts with East Africa and West Asia. Today one can witness a lot of greenery in the area.
A massive laterite wall that runs parallel to the beach revealed by excavations was probably the ancient royal road Rajveedhi that connected Ela or Brahmapuri (now called Old Goa) to the port and was the quay where the ships docked. In 1312, the Muslim army sacked the city and after 150 years when the port became too shallow for ships as the river silted up, it was abandoned.
There is also a church known as the Church of St Andrew situated at Goa Velha. At this St Andrew's church on the first Monday of the Easter week, the Procession of All Saints of the Franciscan Third Order, the only of its kind outside Rome is held, where twenty six life size effigies of saints, popes, kings, martyrs, queens and cardinals are paraded.