Daily Archives: January 6, 2009

UNESCO World Heritage Site #24: Historic Center of Macau

Posted by on January 6, 2009

World Heritage Site #24: Historic Center of Macau

World Heritage Site #24: Historic Center of Macau

From the World Heritage Inscription:

Macau, a lucrative port of strategic importance in the development of international trade, was under Portuguese administration from the mid-16th century until 1999, when it came under Chinese sovereignty. With its historic street, residential, religious and public Portuguese and Chinese buildings, the historic centre of Macau provides a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technological influences from East and West. The site also contains a fortress and a lighthouse, the oldest in China. It bears witness to one of the earliest and longest-lasting encounters between China and the West, based on the vibrancy of international trade.

If you are ever in Hong Kong, take a day to go and visit Macau. It is to Portugal what Hong Kong was the the British. It is less than an hour away by high speed ferry, and there are boats leaving all the time. Modern Macau is the Asian Las Vegas, with many of the large Vegas hotels also now in Macau: MGM Grand, Sands, Wynn and the Venetian.

The center of Macau is the old city set up by the Portugese. The featured attraction is the facade of St. Paul’s Church which burned down in the 19th Century. There are also other historic buildings in the area, all within walking distance.

I visited Macau on Christmas day 2007 and got to taste Chinese treats such as pork floss and Portuguese items like egg custard.