he UNESCO Historic Centre of Macao is the product of cultural exchange between East and West spanning over 400 years. It is currently the oldest, the most complete and consolidated array of European architectural legacy standing intact on Chinese territory today. The Historic Centre of Macao is an urban area within the old city of Macao spanning eight squares and 22 historic buildings. Bookmark these five must-visit UNESCO Macao World Heritage sites for your next holiday to Macao.
 
1.      A-Ma Temple
Built in 1488, A-Ma Temple is the oldest temple in Macao containing valuable historical artefacts till today. The temple is dedicated to Mother A-Ma, a goddess revered throughout the South of China. It was built before Macao came into existence, hence the longest surviving building in Macao. When the first Portuguese settlers arrived in the 16th century, they asked for the name of the place and were told ‘A-Ma Gau’, the name of the temple instead. It is believed that the settlers transcribed it into the Portuguese ‘Macao’. The temple consists of Gate Pavilion, the Hall of Benevolence, the Hall of Guanyin and the Zhengjiao Chanlin (a Buddhist pavilion).
Location: Largo da Barra
 
2.      The Ruins of St.Paul’s Church
The Ruins of St. Paul’s Church is the most iconic historic monument in Macao. The monument refers to the beautiful façade of the remains of the Church of Mater Dei that was built in 1602-1640. The college of St. Paul’s and the church were destroyed by a fire in 1835, leaving the façade, most of the foundations and the front steps. It displays a special mix of eastern and western styles, and functions symbolically as an altar to the city.
Location: In front of Company of Jesus Square
 
3.      Mandarin’s House
 
Built before 1869, Mandarin’s House was the residence of the famous Chinese thinker Zheng Guanying.  The 4000 metre square house has 60 rooms in total. The Mandarin’s House has the characteristics of traditional Guangdong’s residences. Yet, it also features a fusion of architectural influences from western cultures, making it a unique product of Chinese and western cultural interchange. Zheng Guanying, a late-Qing celebrity, completed the acclaimed masterpiece Shengshi Weiyan (Words of Warning in Times of Prosperity) in this house.
 
Location: No. 10, Travessa de António
 
4.      Senado Square
 
Senado Square is located in the heart of Macao since 16th Century, and plays host to many public events and festivities in Macao. The square was named after Leal Senado. Covering an area of 3,700 square meters, it is a main city square of Macao. The buildings either side of the Square were built in the 19th and 20th centuries with striking Portuguese architecture. In 1993, the Square was paved with black and white cobbles into a wavy pattern which brings out the architecture surrounding the square.
 
Location: Opposite to ‘Leal Senado’ Building
 
5.      Guia Fortress (including Guia Chapel & Guia Lighthouse)
 
Guia Fortress is a 17th-century colonial military fort, chapel, and lighthouse complex in Macao. Built in 1622, the fortress is the highest point in Macao with stunning views of the peninsula. The fortress also consists of the Guia lighthouse and chapel. The beautiful Guia chapel is adorned with elaborate colourful murals painted using a mixture of Chinese and western techniques. Guia Fortress, along with the chapel and lighthouse are symbols of Macao’s maritime, military and missionary past
 
Location: Top on Guia Hill
 

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