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Wonders of Macau

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

WorldBlue  Highlights

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

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 15 wonders of Macau

Architecture wonders

The Venetian Macao

One of the largest buildings in the world, a massive 39-floor casino. The building was constructed in 2007, it is very ornate. The complex includes a mock Venetian channel with pseudo-historical buildings around it.

Grand Lisboa

261 m tall skyscraper with a highly unusual design, modeled after a lotus flower. This hotel was built in 2008.

The weird Grand Lisboa skyscraper in the night, Macau
The weird Grand Lisboa skyscraper in the night / Diego Delso, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Macau Historic Center

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

Ruins of St. Paul’s in Macau

Ruins of cathedral and college. The ornate Jesuit cathedral was built in 1602 – 1640. Cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1835.

Ruins of St. Paul's, Macau
Ruins of St. Paul’s / Blowing Puffer Fish, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Holy House of Mercy

Historical building of a medical clinic, constructed in 1569. The large building has an ornate facade in the Renaissance style.

Holy House of Mercy, Macau
Holy House of Mercy / Huru Lin, Zoya Liau, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
St. Dominic’s Church

The oldest extant church in Macau, constructed in 1587 by Dominicans.

Guia Fortress

Old Portuguese built a fort and chapel. The Chapel was built in 1622 and contains frescoes, the fort was built around 1638. Later, in 1864-1865 a lighthouse was built here as well.

Dom Pedro V Theatre

One of the oldest Western-style theaters in China, an important site for gatherings. The building is designed in Neo-Classical forms.

Macau Tower

338 m tall tower, used for communication and entertainment. Tower was constructed in 2001 and its design is based on inspiration from New Zealand’s Sky Tower.

Sai Van Bridge

An enormous cable-stayed bridge, 2.2 m long. This bridge was built in 2004.

Macau Government House

Ornate representative building, similar to a small palace. Constructed in 1846 and is now used as a state guest house. The building was built in the Portuguese Neo-Classical (Pombaline) style.

A-Ma Temple

Taoist temple, built in 1488. It is possible that this temple gave its name to Macao.

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

Just a few sections of the fortification walls of Macau remain. This wall was built in the 16th – 17th century from clay, sand, rocks, and rice straw.

Governador Nobre de Carvalho Bridge

2,569 m long bridge, built in 1974. At the time of its construction, this was the longest bridge in the world.

Ponte de Amizade

4.7 km long four-lane bridge, built in 1994.

WorldYellow Recommended books

Explore Macau: A Walking Guide and History

The 450-year-old city of Macau – the former Portuguese colony that 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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John Russel
4 years ago

I loved the A-Ma Temple and the Guia Fortress, thank you for recommending them! 🙂

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