The last and once sleepy outpost of the Portuguese empire has re-invented itself as ‘Asia’s Las Vegas’ since becoming became part of China in 1999 and is now world famous for its fantastic variety of world-class entertainment.
The historic centre of Macau is the product of cultural exchanges between East and West spanning over 400 years, and is currently the oldest, most complete and consolidated collection of European architecture standing intact on Chinese territory today.
Guia Fortress, built in 1622-1638, occupies the top of Guia Hill, the highest point in Macau. It was designed to defend Macau from attacks from the sea, but because of its position overlooking the entire city, its chief value has been as an observation post. It originally contained barracks, a water cistern, ammunition and equipment stores, the commander’s house, and a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guia. Today the Fort’s most prominent feature is the lighthouse, built in 1864 and the oldest on the China coast. It is 15 metres high and has a light which can be seen for around 20 miles in clear weather. Near the lighthouse is the chapel which contains an image of the Virgin Mary, a few antique pictures, and vestiges of paintings that date back to the construction of the chapel in 1622. Also nearby is a post where signals are hoisted to warn of an approaching typhoon. In earlier times storm warnings were announced from the bell-tower of the chapel.
Macau Science Centre
The Macau Science Centre – designed by world-renowned Chinese-American architect IM Pei – is instantly recognisable by its silvery, cone-shaped exterior. Ten of the fourteen galleries arranged in a spiral and accentuated by an arch shape are now open.
The Macau Museum is a historical and cultural museum with a vast number of objects of great historical value, which demonstrates the way of life and cultures of the various communities which have been inhabited the city for ages.
A-Ma Cultural Village
Close to the world’s tallest statue of the goddess A-Ma (also known as Tian Hou), which stands on a 170-metre high peak on a mountaintop on Macau’s Coloane Island, this 7,000-square meter cultural complex celebrates the beloved deity’s legend.
Kun Iam Ecumenical Centre
Located on the Outer Harbour, this statue, dedicated to Goddess of Kun Iam (Goddess of Mercy) is 20 meters tall and made of special bronze. The dome base, shaped like a lotus flower, is an ecumenical centre where information is available on Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.