Walking through the streets of Macao can seem like an architectural world tour. It is a fascinating melting pot of Western and Eastern influences, reflecting the region’s burgeoning nationalism and rich colonial past. So, if you ever find yourself walking the streets of Macao, here are some landmarks you absolutely need to visit.
Situated on the Western slopes of Barra Hill, the A-Ma Temple is among one of Macao’s oldest surviving buildings. Constructed by the Ming Dynasty to pay homage to the Taoist deity of seafaring, many believe the A-Ma as the origin point of Macao’s name itself. The temple’s popularity means that many Macau five-star hotels include it in their itinerary list – for instance, the Hotel Okura Macau is one such option.
The Mandarin’s House
Built in the late 19th century, the Mandarin’s House was once the personal abode of famous Chinese philosopher Zen Guanyin. Visitors can view the traditional Chinese designs and architecture on display here. Gaze at intricate brick courtyards, expertly crafted moon gates and a few western influences like false ceilings.
The St. Paul’s Ruins
The ruins of St. Paul’s are one of Macao’s most famous landmarks. The original structure was built somewhere in-between 1602 and 1640 by Jesuits and was massive in size – often called the “Vatican of the East”. It was, however, burned down in 1835 and now only its ruins remain, but even these have a certain sense of majesty to them and are definitely worth a visit.
When translated from Portuguese, the word Lilau means “mountain spring”. In fact, it is said that those who drink from the mountain springs of Lilau are destined to return to Macao once again! The square itself is packed with Portuguese style apartments, along with quaint little bridges that connect different houses.