A FEAST FOR THE EYES

For a side of cul­ture to com­ple­ment your Ma­canese food tour, ven­ture beyond the ru­ins of St. Paul’s to visit these must-see sights. Two are among the 20 mon­u­ments and ur­ban squares in­cluded in Ma­cao’s UNESCO-listed his­toric cen­ter.

DestinAsian - - DISPATCHES ADVENTURE -

MAR­ITIME MU­SEUM

Ma­cao’s devel­op­ment is deeply con­nected to the ocean, and vis­i­tors in­ter­ested in div­ing into that his­tory should ex­plore the Mar­itime Mu­seum on the cob­bled Square of the Barra Pagoda. Di­rectly op­po­site the 15th­cen­tury A-Ma Tem­ple, the mu­seum’s ar­chi­tec­ture re­calls a sail­ing ship an­chored in the calm wa­ters of the In­ner Har­bour. In­side, a high­light is the in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays on the mar­itime his­tory of both China and Por­tu­gal, fol­low­ing the ex­ploits of Ming Dy­nasty ad­mi­ral Cheng Ho and the Por­tuguese voy­ages of dis­cov­ery through­out the 15th and 16th cen­turies.

GUIA FORTRESS

Ac­ces­si­ble on foot or via the world’s short­est cable car ride, this his­toric fortress was built be­tween 1622 and 1638 on the lush slopes of Guia Hill, which marks the high­est point on Ma­cao penin­sula. Within its walled perime­ter stands the pic­turesque Guia Light­house, whose ori­gins in 1865 make it the rst modern light­house on the China coast. Next door, you’ll nd the in­ti­mate, 1 th-cen­tury Chapel of Our Lady of Guia. Look out for the unique fres­coes fus­ing Western and Chinese themes—these were only dis­cov­ered dur­ing rou­tine con­ser­va­tion work in 1998.

ST. LAWRENCE’S CHURCH

First con­structed from wood in the 1560s by the Je­suits, St. Lawrence’s (São Lourenço in Por­tuguese) is one of the three old­est churches in Ma­cao. Its cur­rent stone-built ap­pear­ance dates from 1846, and the sanc­tu­ary is largely a neo­clas­si­cal struc­ture, though with sub­tle Baroque dec­o­ra­tions. Be­cause of its po­si­tion on higher ground over­look­ing the sea, fam­i­lies of Por­tuguese sailors used to gather on the front steps of the church to pray and wait for their re­turn. For this rea­son the church was given the Chinese name Feng Shun Tang, or “Hall of the Sooth­ing Winds.”

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