Wonders of Macau

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Macau Tower and Sai Van Bridge
Macau Tower and Sai Van Bridge / Toby Oxborrow, / CC BY-SA 2.0

Most interesting wonders of Macau

Man made landmarks

Cities and towns

  • Macau Historic Center – the old center of Macau contains numerous ornate, historical buildings uniting the diverse traditions of Portuguese and Chinese architecture. Oldest buildings were built in the 15th century, but many valuable buildings in Baroque and other styles were built in the 16th – 19th centuries.

Fortifications

  • Guia Fortress – old, Portuguese built fort and chapel. Chapel was built in 1622 and contains frescoes, fort was built around 1638. Later, in 1864-1865 a lighthouse was built here as well.
  • Walls of Macau – just few sections of the fortification walls of Macau remain. This wall was built in the 16th – 17th century, using clay, sand, rocks, rice straw.

Religious architecture

Ruins of St. Paul's, Macau
Ruins of St. Paul’s / Blowing Puffer Fish, / CC BY 2.0
  • A-Ma Temple – Taoist temple, built in 1488. It is possible that this temple gave its name to Macao.
  • St. Dominic’s Church – oldest extant church in Macau, constructed in 1587 by Dominicans.
  • Ruins of St. Paul’s – ruins of cathedral and college. The ornate Jesuit cathedral was built in 1602 – 1640. Cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1835.

Bridges

  • Governador Nobre de Carvalho Bridge – 2,569 m long bridge, built in 1974. At the time of the construction this was the longest bridge in the world.
  • Ponte de Amizade – 4.7 km long four-lane bridge, built in 1994.
  • Sai Van Bridge – enormous cable-stayed bridge, 2.2 m long. This bridge was built in 2004.

Other historical buildings

Holy House of Mercy, Macau
Holy House of Mercy / Huru Lin, Zoya Liau, / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Dom Pedro V Theatre – one of the oldest Western style theaters in China, important site for gatherings. Building is designed in Neo-Classical forms.
  • Holy House of Mercy – historical building of a medical clinic, constructed in 1569. The large building has ornate facade in Renaissance style.
  • Macau Government House – ornate representative building, similar to a small palace. Constructed in 1846 and now used as a state guest house. Building is built in Portuguese Neo-Classical (Pombaline) style.

Other modern buildings

The weird Grand Lisboa skyscraper in the night, Macau
The weird Grand Lisboa skyscraper in the night / Diego Delso, / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Grand Lisboa – 261 m tall skyscraper with highly unusual design, modeled after a lotus flower. This hotel was built in 2008.
  • Macau Tower – 338 m tall tower, used for communication and entertainment. Tower was constructed in 2001 and its design is based on inspiration by New Zealand’s Sky Tower.
  • The Venetian Macao – one of the largest buildings in the world, massive 39-floor casino. Building was constructed in 2007, it is very ornate. Complex includes a mock Venetian channel with pseudo-historical buildings around it.

Described wonders of Macau

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A-Ma Temple: 22.186075, 113.531247

Macau is the densest populated self-governed area in the world. This small territory is rich with architectural heritage. Most interesting landmarks here are historical buildings which blend Portuguese and Chinese traditions in art and architecture, but this rich city-state has interesting modern architecture as well.

Featured: A-Ma Temple

A-Ma Temple, Macau
A-Ma Temple / Diego Delso, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.

A-Ma Temple might be the oldest building in Macau – built before the city developed. Come here early in the morning – this is wonderful, peaceful retreat from the congested, hectic city of Macau.

Recommended books

Explore Macau: A Walking Guide and History


The 450-year-old city of Macau – the former Portuguese colony returned to China in 1999 – is made for walking. Only seven miles square, one can easily walk from the Border Gate to the A-Ma Temple in a day. This guide describes nine walks around peninsular Macau and its outlying islands, sufficient to explore and understand this fascinating city and its unique blend of European and Asian architecture, cuisine and culture.

Pocket Rough Guide Hong Kong & Macau


The Pocket Rough Guide to Hong Kong and Macau will help you discover the very best that these fascinating destinations have to offer. Whether you’re after the city’s most delicious dim sim, the most spectacular views, or the low-down on the best places to shop, the guide’s combination of stunning photography, color-coded maps and comprehensive listings will be your indispensable companion. There’s also detailed practical advice on how to get around, what to see and do, and the best places to stay, eat, drink and shop, plus plenty of options if you want to hit the great outdoors.

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