July 8, 2016

CHINA (Macau) - Historic Centre of Macau (UNESCO WHS)

It's said that in the 16th century, when the Portuguese landed at the coast of South China Sea, somewhere between the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River) estuary and the Xi Jiang (West River), just outside the A-Ma Temple (dedicated to Matsu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen) and asked the name of the place, the natives replied with the name of the temple, so the name of the peninsula remained Macau. And because natives have proven polite, and the port was well placed, the Portuguese decided to remain and to trade, paying an annual rent.

Macau prospered as port, so in the 17th century the Dutch tried several times to conquer it, but without success, even though it was defended only by a few Portuguese soldiers and priests, and several hundred of Africans slaves. Following the First Opium War (1839-1842), Portugal occupied the two main islands of the Macau, and in 1887 the Qing Dynasty ceded to Lusitanian the right of "perpetual occupation and government of Macau". Anyway, in 1863 the Portuguese ceased to pay the rent.

"Perpetual" meant until 1928, when the Qing Dynasty had been overthrown, and the Kuomintang abrogated the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with Portugal. Another treaty was signed and Portuguese government of Macau remained unchanged. In 1976, Lisbon redefined Macau as a "Chinese territory under Portuguese administration", and on December 20, 1999, the Chinese government assumed formal sovereignty over the city, Macau becoming a special administrative region of China.

With its historic street, residential, religious and public Portuguese and Chinese buildings, the Historic Centre of Macao provides a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technological influences from East and West, and for that in 2005 it was included between the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The inscribed property presents a group of 22 principal buildings and public spaces that enable a clear understanding of the structure of the old trading port city (the ones with links are presented on the blog).
  • A-Ma Temple (Barra Square)
  • Casa Garden
  • Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady
  • Dom Pedro V Theatre (St. Augustine's Square)
  • Holy House of Mercy (Senado Square)
  • Leal Senado Building (Senado Square)
  • Lou Kau Mansion
  • Mandarin's House
  • Monte Forte
  • Moorish Barracks
  • Na Tcha Temple
  • Old Protestant Cemetery and the old headquarters of the British East Indies Company
  • Ruins of St. Paul's
  • Sam Kai Vui Kun (Kuan Tai Temple)
  • Section of the Old City Walls
  • Sir Robert Ho Tung Library (St. Augustine's Square)
  • St Lawrence's Church
  • St. Anthony's Church
  • St. Augustine's Church (St. Augustine's Square)
  • St. Dominic's Church (St. Dominic's Square)
  • St. Joseph's Seminary and Church
  • Barra Square (Largo do Pagode da Barra)
  • Camoes Square (Praça de Luís de Camões)
  • Cathedral Square (Largo da Se)
  • Company of Jesus Square (Largo da Companhia de Jesus)
  • Lilau Square (Largo do Lilau)
  • Senado Square (Largo do Senado)
  • St. Augustine's Square
  • Largo de Santo Agostinho
  • St. Dominic's Square (Largo do São Domingos)
  • Guia Fortress (incorporating Guia Chapel and Guia Lighthouse)
Macau - Wikipedia
Historic Centre of Macau - Wikipedia
Historic Centre of Macau - UNESCO official website

No comments:

Post a Comment