4 Historic Sites You Have To See To Believe!
‘If a building becomes architecture, then it’s art.’
Architecture is what holds a city together. It is an identity of a place. Macao is filled with buildings that show their varied history and their determination to always move forward.
A trip to Macao will be incomplete if you don’t find the time to gawk at the unusual art of their structures. These sites best represent the East-meets-West cultural heritage of Macao and are a tribute to the 400 years of cultural exchange.
Let’s know more about the 4 structures that cannot be missed on your trip to Macao:
- Ruins of St. Paul’s
The Historic Centre of Macao is surrounded by classic architectural buildings and fountains. Did you know that St. Paul’s Church burned down in 1835? An iconic stone façade from the 17th century, the ruins of St. Paul’s is a tourist favorite.It’s located at the top of a hill and is acclaimed as ‘the Vatican of the Far East’. The original structure was made of wood and after being burned down, the vintage granite façade and 68 stone steps stand tall in all their glory. A steel structure allows you to climb up and admire the stonework up close.
- Senado Square:
Senado Square is an elongated triangular-shaped square covering an area of 3700 square meters. It is one of the four largest squares in Macao. The majority of the buildings around are European styled. The noteworthy buildings around the square are the Holy House of Mercy, Hotel Central, Macao General Post Office and the Leal Senado Building. The square is best known for the black and white stones, which add to its Mediterranean atmosphere.
Home to the Senado Building, also known as the ‘Leal Senado’ that translates to ‘the loyal senate’, this building is more than 400 years old and has been at the receiving end of a lot of changes. The interiors are richly decorated and they make the visit interesting.
- A-Ma Temple:
This temple dedicated to the Sea Goddess Mazu was built in 1488 and is the oldest and most famous temple in Macao. Situated in the southeast of the Macao Peninsula, it is believed to be the temple from where Macao’s name is derived. It has the Gate Pavilion, the Memorial Arch, the Prayer Hall, the Hall of Benevolence, the Hall of Guanyin, and Zhengjiao Chanlin (a Buddhist pavilion). The six separate architectural components are made primarily using stone, bricks and granite. It is also one of the first scenes photographed in Macao. Stay and enjoy the various poems and inscriptions caved along the cliff. The temple is a measure of Macao’s rich and profound culture.
- Dom Pedro V Theatre:
Built in 1860, it is the oldest theatre in Macao and the first Western-style theatre in the area. It includes a theatre, a ballroom, a billiard room and a study room. The striking green and the white neo-classical looks were designed by a Portuguese architect and is an important cultural landmark. It was a regular meeting place for the Portuguese and the Macanese people living in Macao. A surprising fact is that the theatre was used as a refugee shelter in World War 2! It still serves as a venue for important public events and celebrations.
Another interesting fact is that all these sites are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit and explore these well-preserved landmarks that define the city’s unique and fascinating history! Walk down the streets, stroll past pastel-coloured houses and sink in the architectural delight offered by the place.
So what do you say, let’s travel back in time?