Lat: 22.196975000000000, Long: 113.542219444440000


Macau, China

Historical Background and Urbanism

Until 1911. The city of Macau occupies a much greater area than it had four centuries or even one century ago, having reclaimed land from the sea through successive landfill projects. The peninsula initially had a long triangular shape and was linked to the rest of China by a narrow isthmus. The coastline alternated steep slopes with easily accessed sandy bays. The initial settlement by the Portuguese who navigated as far as the Pearl River Delta in the 1550s arose between the heights of Barra and Penha, and later extended to the elevation that became known as Saint Paul’s hill. They also partly occupied several neighbouring islets, subsequently named Dom João, Lapa and Verde, and much later the islands of Taipa and Coloane. Everything began with a cluster of rather modestly-sized cabins, due to the restrictions imposed by the Cantonese authorities, but Fernão Mendes Pinto, who was there in 1555, said that the island (as he called the peninsula) was previously deserted but now had a settlement located near the Barra temple and which extended to Saint Francis’s Hill [Monte de São Fran- cisco]. We are certain that, despite the apparent regularity of the four large streets that basically formed late 16th century Macau (and which can be seen in old illustrations, with the Rua Central bigger than the others), there was no planning in its creation and development; people rather built their houses wherever it suited them, without alignments or plot definition. But besides buildings erected by the Portuguese, Macau also had Chinese installations, specifically the bazaars whose location caused problems over the years, essentially for health and social reasons. The attempted Dutch conquest in 1622 dramatically changed the city’s life, influencing its urban structure as the implemented defences affected its natural expansion, forcing it to focus on new constructions within the new defence perimeter. From the end of the 1500s on, the city’s main artery was the Rua Central, which continued along Rua de São Lourenço and Rua do Padre António, which all linked to the Largo do Senado [Senate Square], amid which stood the pillory. The city then opened to the sea on the one side by the Praia Grande area, and to the Inner Harbour on the other. It was still girded by the rocky escarpments and the fortified wall separating the peninsula from Saint Francis’s to Saint Paul’s of the Hill, and from there to the channel. At the end of the 17th century and during the 18th century there were patches of occupation formed by buildings pertaining to religious orders – Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, etc. The main thorough fares continued to be those mentioned above. Despite the construction difficulties, it was in this period that the Praia Grande front was established, which reached the peak of splendour in the late 1800s. Only in 1818 was the definitive occupation of Praia Pequena achieved, with many Chinese traders using the argument of a fait accompli to set up their houses and stores there. Also at the beginning of the 19th century Praia do Manduco suffered construction pressures from the Portuguese and Chinese. The authorities had to deal with disorderly growth and a population increase that was not welcomed by either the Portuguese or Chinese authorities. One of the most important urban acts then underway, which clearly bothered the Guangzhou [Canton] mandarins, was the layout of the area surrounding the Monte fortress. In 1833 other work was under way behind the Barra pagoda, a fundamental area for development of the Europeans’ city, so a new road was built there. Around 1843 the reconstruction of houses by Macau residents no longer required permission from China and the city was then able to grow without constraints. One of the areas that became most westernised was Praia Grande, between the fortifications of Saint Peter and Good Birth [Bom Parto], with houses built along with the headquarters and branches of businesses, agencies and even the Government Palace. The avenue was very wide, cut across by narrower roads leading to the Rua Central. At the same time, and on the opposite side of the city, the old wall that hampered urban expansion to the north was destroyed. The first significant landfills were undertaken in the areas of Praia Pequena and Praia de Manduco, realign- ing the coastline and making it possible to build the ten blocks which remain to this day between Avenida 5 de Outubro and Rua do Guimarães, despite changes to their buildings. This was the urbanisation planned and implemented with a regular pattern. At the same time, beyond the old city limits country houses were built, with beautiful and sumptuous summer residences. In 1841 Macau counted 25,000 residents, 20,000 of whom were Chinese, but in 1867 that number had risen to over 56,000. Starting with the government of Ferreira do Amaral the Chinese from the Bazaar and the Portuguese from the Christian city began to grow closer. This resulted in a continuous built-up area encompassing Bazar Novo, Patane, Chunambeiro, Barra and Manduco, whilst the São Lázaro suburb became the area in which Macau’s population of Chinese origin expanded. There was a redefinition of the basic lines of movement, with the urban hub becoming linked to the Chinese villages in the northern part of the isthmus and to the territory beyond Portas do Cerco, whose fortified walls were demolished. An important step was taken in 1850 when the area between Rua do Seminário and Praia do Manduco was reclaimed, whose waterline corresponded to the current Rua da Praia do Manduco. Several parallel streets perpendicular to the sea were laid out. Another area was reclaimed between Praia Grande and the Good Birth Fort, and the first phase of the Inner Harbour landfill began immediately; the waterline was also brought into line along 160 metres between Barra hill and Mong Tchoi dock. In 1869 there were 175 public streets registered in the Christian city, 89 in the Bazaar, 83 in Patane, 48 in Mong Ha, 24 in Long Tin Chun, 5 in Tap Séak, 1 in Séak Lo Tau, 1 in Long Wan Chun, 55 in São Lázaro, 14 in Penha and in Tanque do Mainato and 22 in Barra, for a total of 517. When these figures are compared to those of 1905, the most significant increase was recorded in the Bazaar neighbourhood and the area that was previously countryside, with a further 20 streets. In the 1880s a systematic tree planting programme was begun throughout the territory, with view to securing the land and also due to health theories then in vogue. Public gardens were also created, such as those of São Francisco, Camões and Alameda Vasco da Gama, as well as many private ones. The end of the 19th century was a fertile period for building work; new neighbourhoods were born with pipes laid, water channels and streams completely dry in areas that were previously agricultural land or used for dwelling purposes. And although urban develop- ment of the Horta da Mitra neighbourhood in 1886 failed, the neighbourhoods of Volong, with around 200 hectares, São Lázaro and Tomás Rosa were successful. The government set up infrastructures on the land and built the houses’ foundations; only later did the owners enter the action, urged to build with more durable materials than those traditionally used. It was mandatory to follow the delimiting construction and road alignments; articulation of the housing, business and industrial area with the port projects was also encour- aged. Work continued on straightening the old streets, rice cultivation was banned, wetlands were drained and trees systematically planted, etc. A traveller moving up-channel in early 20th century Macau would meet two more structures vital for the port area: the first was where Rua das Lorchas now begins, was then called the Guangzhou steamers’ dock; the second, a little further up, was the Hong Kong steamers’ dock. Although not entirely completed, it is important to note a project for an adjacent neighbourhood meant to house dockworkers, with 40-metre- deep blocks separated by streets 20 metres wide, with a tree-lined avenue envisaged for its northern side. In 1890 construction of the dyke linking Ilha Verde to the Macau peninsula began, giving rise to a long tree-lined avenue, the current Avenida do Conselheiro Borja. Its origins are also closely linked to Adolfo Loureiro’s plans for renewing the whole area facing Lapa Island. Governor Horta e Costa was responsible for clearing the areas of Tap Seac, Sá Kong and Mong Ha, the latter based on expropriation decreed in 1901. This also resulted in opening up the avenue that bears his name which, starting at Estrada da Flora, was meant to end in a square, the Rotunda Carlos da Maia, whence other avenues would cross the low-lying areas. It was also his government that opened up the current Vasco da Gama and República avenues and reclaimed the area of Rua do Visconde de Paço de Arcos, or at least part of it. The civic centre par excellence was the Senate Square [Largo do Leal Senado], but the main areas frequented by Europeans and Portuguese descendents extended from there particularly towards Praia Grande, and in the opposite direction to the true public promenade [Passeio Público] encompassing the São Francisco Gardens and other neighbouring leisure areas. Church forecourts were also important socialisation areas which drew crowds, especially on holidays, whilst markets and bazaars were the places that brought the Chinese-origin population and the Europeans’ house staff together in their daily business dealings. (PD)

From 1911 on. Macau had since its foundation been conditioned by its relations with China, further affected by the creation in 1842 of a British colony on Hong Kong island, on the opposite side of the Pearl River Delta, which began to rival its importance, as until then Macau had been the West’s only trading entrepôt in that vast region. As we shall see, Macau’s growth and transformation in contemporary times can only be understood in the framework of the territorial relationship and economic dynamics resulting from that dialectic. We can thus state that Macau’s entry into the 20th century was determined by the opening of China’s ports to the West and the growing affirmation of the British in Hong Kong, thus determining a development strategy focused on the need to transform its port, which had meanwhile become obsolete. Seen as vital for economic progress and sustainability, the port was studied and planned from then on with a view to driving development that would simultaneously affect the design of the territory itself. Besides this, the founding of the respective republics in Portugal in 1910 and in China the following year were of great importance within a new political frame-work focused on progress and the technical possibilities of the contemporary world. Indeed, the new Portuguese republic committed itself to more decisive and concerted action than had previously been the case. Also, under the new political framework tensions between the two countries were reduced. Proof of the more peaceful relationship was the 1928 inauguration of the road between Macau and Seak Ki, which linked Portuguese territory to China via the Portas do Cerco, and especially to the Chinese villages of the Pearl River estuary. Due to the nature of the territory (a small isthmus initially covering 4.5 square kilometres, to which were added the islands of Taipa, Coloane, Lapa and Verde, making a total of 15 square kilometres), Macau’s development in the 20th century was exponential, characterised by growth in height, ground specialisation and particularly transformation based on expansion via land reclaimed from the sea. Gaining this land from the sea was closely linked to the port’s development strategy. Indeed, when the new urban areas had yet to be occupied, reports regarding work on the port already considered this need. In the context of the hygiene-focused urbanism of the time, the so-called improvement plans envisaged planting trees, the renewal of unhealthy neighbourhoods occupied by the Chinese population, the implementation of a regular, orthogonal network with wider roads in the centre of the city, which would be accompanied by introduction of a sewage system. Legal instruments were then established for planning, expropriations, land-use policies and construction regulation that would ensure this transformation. The São Lázaro neighbourhood created at this time is an example of that strategy. The opening of a main avenue-like thoroughfare which cut through the urban core west to east from shore to shore confirmed those intentions – Avenida Almeida Ribeiro. (For both these developments see the specific entries). Meanwhile and in order to prevent the collapse of the navigable access to the port, on which the future of the territory’s economy depended, a complete review of the entire port area was needed, as was a clean-up of waste discharges into the river and minimisation of the impact of ground erosion. Macau’s port, unlike Hong Kong’s, located west of the territory in the low-land areas of Se-Kiang, received large ships with difficulty. This problem led to the idea of completely transforming the port, radically altering its location and thereby definitively led to the issue of the territory’s boundaries becoming a key problem in all Macau urbanism. After the projects by Adolfo Loureiro (1884) and Castel-Branco (1907), which focused on renewal of Inner Harbour, in the 1920s hydrographical engineer Hugo de Lacerda (chosen in 1918 to head the mission for improvements to the Port of Macau) played an important role in that process, when improved Portuguese-Chinese relations allowed work to begin on what would be known as the Outer Harbour. Located in the northeast of the territory, on the coast facing in the direction of Hong Kong, this new location was meant to restore to the port its vital strategic role in order to overcome the very serious health and silting situation. At the same time, the remodelling of Inner Harbour, which remained in operation for smaller boats, was made by possible by opening a channel in 1911 that provided a west-east connection, i.e between the two ports. In 1920, according to plans by lieutenant-captain Justino Henrique Herz, transposing the plan by Hugo de Lacerda, the Pantane (north and south) basins were laid out, work was begun on the aforementioned channel linking the ports and the first large-scale land-fill area was outlined for Taipa Grande and Taipa Pequena. Three years later a proposal was made to widen Avenida Marginal [shoreline avenue] by the Inner Harbour, the Pantane port area was organised, the channel and dock for the Areia Preta Port were designed and the reclaimed area meant to house the workers’ neighbourhood was established next to Portas do Cerco. The entire east coast of the peninsula underwent profound changes, associated with the creation of the Outer Harbour. The 1927 Planta Geral da Cidade e do Novo Porto de Macau indicates the layout designed by Hugo de Lacerda, which would only be fully implemented in the 1990s, with a line ringing the entire city. To the west, the area of Ilha Verde was significantly augmented and linked to the peninsula. In the same year a land reclamation plan was published, which for the first time suggested transforming the peninsula and remaining islands into a single piece of land. The population had meanwhile grown exponentially: the 74,866 inhabitants recorded in the 1910 census rose to 83,984 in 1920 and seven years later the total was 157,175 people. A new policy based on commercial and industrial development was finally implemented to stimulate progress that implied an increase in the territory’s area. The area of Macau was thus enlarged to 20 square kilometres, at the same time as the creation of an effective port established conditions for revenues to remain in the territory and thus be invested in its own development. After the initial drive, work on the Outer Harbour did not continue as desired in terms of meeting needs, ensuring maintenance work or setting up the platform linking to the envisaged Macau-Guangzhou railroad. Only in the 1960s and in a different economic context would the Outer Harbour become perfectly operational and generate the development the territory of Macau required. For a more health-concerned culture it was also necessary to rework infrastructures and create green areas. In 1913, to ensure the territory’s harmonious development, buildings were expropriated and land reclamation projects began. Two years later, the aforementioned Avenida Almeida Ribeiro opened. Since its inception, Macau was organised along a north-south axis between Barra and Monte, along a road that wended its way along the backbone of the peninsula, and along which the territory’s main buildings were located. When the avenue opened, that central artery was interrupted and the hills separated, to the point that Rua da Sé was linked to the new Avenida Almeida Ribeiro by a stairway. The Chinese Bazaar was also split. That street separated the Chinese city to the west from the so-called Christian city oriented around the more attractive Praia Grande. Various road-widening projects were undertaken, such as Rua de Entrecampos, the Barra and Tarrafeiro shoreline drives and, later, the Inner Harbour shoreline drive. The urban area doubled. Parallel to this process, the Regulamento dos Serviços de Obras Particulares e de Salubridades das Edificações Urbanas da cidade de Macau [Regulation of Services for Private Construction and Salubrities of Urban Buildings in the City of Macau] was published. The first reinforced concrete structures were put up in the first decade of the 20th century in residences and villas, copying Western metropolitan designs, as well as some oriental imperial expressions. At the same time, the way of life underwent a profound change accompanied by a process of increasing Westernisation which was reflected in domestic architecture, particularly the internal organisation of wealthier homes, which tended to bring together refined oriental values and influences from imported erudite models. Solutions meant to alleviate effects of the sub-tropical monsoon climate were reinvented using new materials such as concrete. These included set-back façades, arcades, lattices, systems of transparency and shade, qualified and complex transition areas that ensured constant cross-ventilation. Experiments with new industrial materials such as iron, glass and concrete alongside new architectural trends from the beginning of the century, from art nouveau to art deco, contributed to an eclectic vocabulary wherein a unique blending of cultures was increasingly apparent. In the 1920s new public facilities were installed in line with the functional and architectural modernisation of the city: the headquarters buildings of the Macau Aerial Transport Company (1920) and Macau Central Radio (1924), the Hippodrome (1925-28), the Caixa Escolar building and the President Hotel (now Hotel Central), which was then the city’s tallest and most impressive building. In the decade that followed modernist buildings were erected, reflecting the formal influence of the European vanguard. Geometry based on cubic forms, smooth surfaces and a lack of orna- mentation became standard on large public buildings such as the Post Office (1931), Mercado Vermelho (1936), the Grande Hotel (1937), Pedro Nolasco da Silva Primary School and the Sir Roberto Ho Tung Luso- Chinese School. At the same time, the water supply was finally extended to the entire city in 1936 and the Praia Grande reclaimed area opened in 1940. Refurbishment of the hospitals of Santa Sancha (1934) and São Rafael (1939) met needs that had been felt for some time. In 1937, the Pan Am terminal opened. The group of city blocks comprising Avenida Almeida Ribeiro, Praia Grande, Largo do Senado and Avenida Conselheiro Ferreira de Almeida became the city’s services and business centre. Work on the Outer Harbour meanwhile gained new momentum, which accompanied the exponential population growth engendered by the migration of Chinese fleeing the Japanese invasion of China and Hong Kong. A demographic peak was recorded at this point, repeated several years later when Chairman Mao’s communists took power in China. From the previously mentioned 157,175 inhabitants in 1927 the figure rose to 245,194 in 1939, but fell to around 187,000 in the 1950s due to emigration to Hong Kong and the United States. From 15,818 inhabitants per square kilometre in the 1940s, population density fell to 12,114 in the following decade. In the post-war period traditional industries (dried fish, cement and fireworks, for example) were associated to an activity that would determine the future: gaming. In the 1960s it openly became the territory’s main activity, and it saw large and increasing revenues. At the end of the 1950s a population increase also led to a new aspect of economic development, character- ised by industry based on a cheap workforce. Gaming increased the flow of tourists, which from the 1950s to the 1960s rose from 5,336 per year to 26,534, thereby justifying the territory’s 21 new hotels, five of which were first class. Urban expansion was the result, and in the case of such a small territory led to an exponential rise in land values, driving increased real estate speculation. There was an inevitably aggressive occupation of free areas, with the chaotic, disorderly and uncontrolled replacement of traditional three-storey buildings, with neither programme nor planning, by other much higher ones. The random nature of these changes, generally produced with poor construction and architectural quality, led to a deterioration of the constantly transformed buildings and public areas, dominated by a sense of the ephemeral and transitory. Macau’s architecture followed international trends throughout the 20th century, lagging only slightly behind. For example, references to what is known as regime architecture in Portugal, corresponding to the period following the Portuguese World Exposition (1940) and in Macau extending into the following decade. The Sports Field complex (1940) and the Administration Building [Edifício das Repartições] (1951) are eloquent examples of this historicist and monumental expression, where a clear urban sense is apparent. The CTT neighbourhood, inaugurated in 1950, is an example of that characteristic representation of the Estado Novo regime, this time in a rural-minded version, which was also imported late from Portugal. It is a set of modest houses for public employees with similar characteristics to housing projects built in Lisbon (Madre Deus, Encarnação, Alvito). The Hospital de São Januário Building (1955) and the Infante D. Henrique School (1956 -1958) were projects that confirmed the construction impetus applied to public works throughout the 1950s in that classic and traditional architectural register. One specific case is worth noting among the government’s ventures: The Rainha Dona Leonor block, a collective housing area that follows the modern movement’s architectural principles and the housing units ascribed to Le Corbusier; for over a decade it was the highest building in the territory. Set on the Praia Grande Bay reclamation area, at the crossing of Avenida Infante Dom Henrique (which extends to Almeida Ribeiro as far as the Outer Harbour) and Avenida Dom João IV, and promoted by the Santa Casa da Misericórdia charity institution, it was meant to house civil servants. Designed by José Lei at the end of the 1950s and inaugurated in the 1960s, it was an affirmation of modernism approaching the international style, with its innovative duplex homes with terrace-verandas, and the grandiose scale applied to the housing. From then on, an expression of international style clearly arose in Macau’s housing and hotel programme. Hotels of this type joined the glamorous hotels from the 1930s on the main avenue, and were built along Praia Grande, and the shoreline drives in Guia and Taipa. As the transformation and pace of construction did not accompany the rising population, the traditional urban structure persisted, comprising an area in which the old Portuguese city was evident, marked by its religious network, the irregular and narrow street patterns of the Bazaar and the Chinese neighbourhoods. Wealthy homes, of the villa [palacete] type, organised around internal courtyards and mainly located on Avenida Almeida Ribeiro and Praia da Barra, still survived, but with new residents, except on Rua de Santo António. Gentrification occurred toward the Penha hill, which was then invaded by the wealthy population looking for a refined and green environment in which to live. These houses has spaces and gardens opening onto the Pearl River Delta. This typology of residence integrated in a lush green space was extended later to Barra and Praia Grande, replacing the old country houses which gradually disappeared. The Inner Harbour now became the business centre, specialised in articles for fishing and industrial units. It was eventually expanded by extending Avenida Visconde Paço de Arcos to link to Ilha Verde, where docks were installed, surrounded by poor and precarious housing. Meanwhile, when the new Horta e Costa and Coronel Mesquitas Avenues opened, the old rural village of Mong Ha disappeared. Farther north, next to the hippodrome, housing and neighbourhoods for refugees were built. To the southeast work began on the large Outer Harbour reclamation area, on which the Avenida da Amizade [Friendship Avenue] was later built. In this climate of accelerated and unpredictable transformation, urban development began to be accompanied by the interventions of professional architects assigned by state bodies, who designed a number of important infrastructures. An erudite modernism is fully assumed, first with the unique work of Raul Chorão Ramalho at the Pedro Nolasco School or the Avé-Maria Pre-school, and later with the first project by Manuel Vicente, the Helen Liang School, which was followed by consistent and brilliant work up to the end of Portuguese administration. The economic boom resulted in occupation of the reclaimed areas and compulsory replacement of the small scale buildings by higher typologies. The rupture and change of scale happened not only vis-à-vis hotel programmes, but also in housing and service buildings, based on frequently rather undistinguished international models. An intensification and enlargement occurred, resulting in an increase in underground spaces, as well as the use of a modern commercial and residential type that replaced the formerly prevailing commercial use of the bazaar type with residence on the upper floors. Due to the eventual significance and extent of gaming in Macau’s economic model, the 1970 opening of the Lisboa Hotel Casino is a symbolic milestone of that explosive growth, substantiated by the construction of large buildings for services and even for residences. The city’s skyline was not only new but also changing, and then stretched in a compact manner from Barra- Penha to Guia and Areia Preta. The euphoria was driven by external demand, especially from Hong Kong, and by incentives for the application of Chinese capital then fleeing from instability in Southeast Asia. The establishment of textile industries from Hong Kong caused a rise in development and the need for buildings for housing, offices and industries. The area of Praia Grande and the Outer Harbour then received 342 new buildings. Portugal’s 1974 revolution led to the re-establishment of diplomatic and commercial ties with China, providing added leverage for Macau’s economic development. Some 841 new buildings were erected between 1978 and 1981. This process led to new ground values, increased construction costs and a segregation of the local population and subsequent gentrification. At its peak in the late 1970s, 12 new banks appeared in the territory. Gaming continued to develop and spread along Avenida da Amizade, Rua do Aterro Novo and to the Estoril Hotel Casino, the Pelota Branca Casino, the Floating Casino and the Canídromo dog-racing venue. But let’s move back to planning. While from 1890 to 1930 the aim was to improve port conditions by means of landfills so that Macau could compete with Hong Kong in the connection to China, in the 1940- 1950 period the process was driven by speculative pressures deriving from gaming’s impact and the respective need for expansion. In the 1960s the first master plan appeared, based on analysis undertaken by the geographer Raquel Soeiro de Brito in 1962, which identified functional trends and urban land-use vocations, besides making a number of important recommendations, such as, for the first time, the need to improve the old city and maintain green spaces (Mong Ha, Dona Maria, Guia, São Januário). In the industrial zones (Hortas, Areia Preta and Outer Harbour) good road connections and planning rules were recommended for the residential areas then tending toward densification. The zones of the new Praia Grande and Outer Harbour reclamation areas were also highlighted for use by businesses, services and hotels. Two plans emerged in another political context in 1976 and 1979: the first, by Tomás Taveira, was based on a strong economic component and development model based on the renewal and definition of new planning areas centred on the islands of Taipa and Coloane, with the aim of decongesting the dense old core and promoting its revival; the second, by José Catita, set as priorities an effective road arrangement and the application of occupation indices for future expansion. Both implied a tendency for growth to the north, where residential and industrial areas were installed. Areas were also set aside for tourism and high standard tertiary infrastructures, and the old centre was identified as heritage to value and renew. In the 1990s a large rectangular area of muddy waters was reclaimed behind the Hotel Mandarin Oriental, where a half-dozen years later huge office blocks were built along rectilinear streets. Siza Vieira’s plan set a rule for landfill expansion in the New Outer Harbour Reclamation Area [NAPE – Novo Aterro do Porto Exterior] and Areia Preta. The idea was to create geometric platforms supported in the water, then to build on the new landfills separated from the city by inlets or canals. The island would not be prolonged and the delicate shoreline would be preserved. A technical problem and a landscape problem thus converged in the strategy. Parallel to this, Fernando Távora developed a plan to preserve the historic centre. But the aims of both plans were entirely disrupted by the structural changes brought on by the end of Portuguese administration of Macau in 1999. Huge casinos have since sprouted on the sands of the NAPE. But since 1982 the Macau government had included among its action lines the defence and enhancement of heritage by means of the Macau Cultural Institute founded at the time and directed by Luís António Durão. Macau’s current architecture is the ultimate witness to the acculturation, permanence and coexistence of two communities manifested in the way of life, of building and of organising space, which was nevertheless built with local manpower. The advent of reinforced concrete, a new technological era and, above all, economic growth, meant that Macau began to change very quickly, losing the nostalgic charm that had characterised its specific physiognomy. To preserve the architectural and urban qualities of that legacy, from 1976 on there were successive initiatives to regulate and classify Macau’s heritage. The process led to its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005 – the most expressive result of that action and the instrument which has ensured that preservation. The territory’s 15 square kilometres have nowadays doubled and the city is linked to Taipa Island by three bridges: Nobre de Carvalho, Amizade and Sai Van. The peninsula and Taipa and Coloane islands now form a territorial continuum, for the two islands were joined by the COTAI landfill, around 100,000 square metres on which another section of the city now stands. But the Macau of memory, between the residences and villas with lush gardens on Penha hill, and the Monte hills, Guia and Mong Ha, encompasses a uniquely beautiful urban fabric of narrow streets in which the Portuguese and Chinese cities still coexist.

Ana Tostões

Religious Architecture

Military Architecture

Equipment and Infrastructures