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This robust museum, built on the grounds of the Monte Fort, houses a vast collection of historical and social memorabilia detailing Macau's complex religious and political past. Highlights include archaeological discoveries from Coloane, classic Chinese furniture and architecture, displays explaining ancient customs and rituals, and literature. The layout is user-friendly, allowing the visitor time and space to stroll through the fascinating exhibitions.
Wide stone steps lead up to the ruins of this 17th-century Christian cathedral, all that remains of this once magnificent edifice following a fire in 1835. Today, these ruins of a church that took nearly four decades to construct, are a part of Macau's World Heritage Sites. The cathedral has a unique allure, making it the focus of sightseeing in Macau, and the intricately designed facade showcases excellent craftsmanship. A climb up to the first tier's arched windows reveals a panoramic view of the city and a close-up glimpse of the carvings detailing the story of Christianity.
A vestige of the widespread Portuguese colonization, this fortified ensemble is one of the most intriguing sites in the country. Standing guard over the antiquated terrains of São Lázaro, this complex is perched atop Guia Hill, which is the highest point in the whole of Macau. Forming an integral part of the Historic Centre of Macau, this charming white fortress is complemented deeply by bright streaks of yellow. Sheltering the oldest lighthouse built on the Chinese coast, this picturesque fortress was built in the 17th Century to defend China's border, and now serves as a tourist lookout post with a tourist information center and a café. Engraved within its fabric are several stories of Portuguese military forces, while the beacon of the neighboring lighthouse yet bears testimony to the time that once was. Also, up here is the Chapel of Our Lady Guia, from whose bell tower storm warnings used to be rung. Round the hill are two trails for walking or jogging, with exercise stations strategically placed at intervals.
Eye-catching tiles make up the floor of the Largo do Senado (Senate Square), which provides the city's focal point and is the start of most people's exploration of Macau. From the central fountain, visitor's glance falls upon stunning colonial architecture, including the imposing Leal Senado, the Santa Casa da Misericordia, and finally Sao Domingos Church. Lanes leading away from the square unveil markets, vibrant streets and rows of gift shops.
One of the most emblematic buildings in Macau, Leal Senado was built in the 18th Century by the Portuguese. Home of the municipal offices, this neoclassical building with French windows is simple yet elegant at the same time. Influenced by Portugal's Mafra Convent's library, the wood-paneled library on its first floor has an enviable collection of foreign language books pertaining to Portugal's colonial history. The walled courtyard garden at the back is another alluring feature of this government building.
The name Macau was taken from A-Ma-Gao, or, the Bay of A-Ma, where this temple stands. Legend has it that A-Ma was a poor girl traveling to China who was stopped by a group of wealthy ship owners. Finally, a fisherman took her to Macau, surviving a storm that sunk all the other ships. Later, she reappeared to the fisherman as a goddess and so he built her this temple. Situated on the southern tip of Macau, the temple has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and a steady stream of worshipers who flock from different parts of the globe to witness this architectural masterpiece. The Memorial Arch, the Hall of Benevolence, the Zhengjiao Chanlin, the Hall of Guanyin and the Gate Pavilion are some of the structure's most notable components.