Old Macau, with its twisting, narrow streets leading to squares shaded by banyan trees, churches, temples, administrative buildings, and other historic buildings, is a living legacy of more than 400 years of cultural exchange between the East and West. The Historic Centre of Macau, declared a World Heritage Site in 2005, pays tribute to Macau’s unique dual heritage and ensures the preservation of both Chinese architecture and the oldest Western structures on Chinese soil.
The Historic Centre of Macau is composed of 25 structures and sites, including temples, churches, mansions, forts, squares, a library, theater, a cemetery and a garden. Among my favorites are A-Ma Temple, the Mandarin’s House and the picturesque Lilau Square across the street, Senado Square (the heart of the city), the Ruins of St. Paul’s, Monte Fortress (home of the Macao Museum), and the Protestant Cemetery.
Be sure to pick up the Macao World Heritage pamphlet at the Macau Government Tourist Organization’s counter at the ferry terminal or Senado Square, which contains descriptions of each site and a map.