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Report: A glimpse into Macau history and architecture

April 20, 2007

From The Star Online:

Just by glancing at the photographs lined up at the Malaysia Tourism Centre on Jalan Ampang, one is fascinated by the history of Macau and the efforts taken to preserve its historical and architectural legacy.

The “Macau World Heritage Photo Exhibition” at the Malaysia Tourism Centre is an introduction to Macau’s past, the time of the Portuguese settlement, their influences and heritage that has lived on in today’s world.

The section of the old city walls tells of how the Portuguese began building a city wall around Macau back in 1569.

History dictates that apart from the Inner Harbour in the West, this wall surrounded the rest of the city – a ruin that is testament of the past.

Ancient: The St Dominic Church houses a small museum that has a collection of around 300 artifacts.

It is said that fortresses were also built, making Macau a heavily defended fort with cannons, military barracks, wells and an arsenal that held sufficient ammunition and supplies.

The Ruins of St Paul’s refers to the façade that was originally the Church of Mater Dei built between 1602 and 1640 and that was destroyed in a fire in 1835 and the ruins of St Paul’s College.

The old Church of Mater Dei, St Paul’s College and Mount Fortress were all Jesuit constructions, which were known to be the ”acropolis” of Macau.

St Anthony’s Church built before 1560 of bamboo and wood is one of the oldest churches in Macau.

It was the earliest headquarters of the Jesuits in the city.

Having been reconstructed several times with brick and stone, its present architecture dates back to 1930.

Members of the Portuguese community would hold wedding ceremonies here, giving rise to the Chinese name Fa Vong Tong (Church of Flowers).

St Dominic’s Church was founded in 1587 by three Spanish Dominican, originally from Acapulco, Mexico.


A small museum at the church holds a collection of over 300 Macanese Catholic artefacts.

The St Augustine Church, which was first established by the Spanish Augustinians in 1591, has maintained the tradition of organising the Easter procession, which passes through the city, with thousands of devotees in tow.

The Holy House of Mercy with its neo-classical design and traces of mannerist influences was built to undertake charitable work and was established by the first Bishop of Macau in 1569.

It was modelled after one of the most prominent and oldest charitable organisations in Portugal.

Here, the first Western style hospital in China and several other social welfare structures including a nursery and orphanage were established.

Full report here.


From → Architecture, Reports

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