Macao, a tiny place with a total land area of 23.8 square kilometers including a peninsular, and two islands, is a strange mixture of tranquility and motion.
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Historical sites fill the Region and make it a “sleepy land.” The Monte Fort lies in the center of the Macao peninsula, overlooking Macao and witnessing its development. it was built by the first Portuguese settlers, marking the Region as the oldest European settlement in Asia.
A short distance down from the fort is the ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral. Some people say it is “the greatest Christian monument in the East although only a façade and stone steps remain.” The marvelous carvings of significant Christian events on the façade inspire veneration and awe. The cathedral was damaged in a fire in 1835 and was never reconstructed. This foreign-style architecture comes from the influence of centuries of rule by the Portuguese in Macao. But Macao’s blood ties with China can never be cut. The oriental style architecture reflects its blood its long Chinese tradition.
In the south of the Macao peninsula, there is a A-Ma Temple dedicated to the goddess A-Ma (Mother). A-Ma is a legendary figure protecting boat people from being killed during sea voyages. She is widely worshipped in South and East China. The Temple is a typical Chinese building with eagle-like eaves and a tower behind it. It dates back to the 17th century and there is always activity around it with worshippers coming and going.
Some buildings in Macao have particular characteristics. The former Governor’s Residence has eye-catching pink exterior walls. Whatever the style of architecture, Western or oriental, the buildings stand side by side in the subtropical sun and contribute to the uniqueness of Macao—an interesting mix of Latin and Asian culture.
Macao is known for its nightlife. Gambling is the most exciting part of Macao. Thousands of visitors flow there every day to try their luck. The Lisboa Casino next to Lishoa Hotel is the largest and liveliest casino.
During the racing seasons, horse racing and dog racing thrill the spectators. Its horse racing has a long history, tracing back to the 18th century. The biggest event of the year is the Macao Grand Prix.
The great concept of “one country, two systems” proposed by the late leader Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997) is the sole correct guideline for solutions to the questions of Hong Kong and Macao, and Taiwan and hence for achieving the complete reunification of the motherland.
As Macao embraced the great motherland Macao has implemented the policies of “one country, two systems” and “Macao people administering Macao” and has enjoyed a high degree of autonomy. The Macao SAR is now directly under the authority of the central government and under the Basic Law of the Macao SAR, has been vested with executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication.
China has started exercising diplomacy in Macao after a lapse of 443 years. The Commission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Macao Special Administrative Region opened on December 20, 1999, hours after the Chinese flag was raised at in the garden of the newly built commission building. The building is across from the Forum, where the government of the Macao Special Administrative Region was inaugurated on December 20, 1999. The opening of the commission is an important system of China’s resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Macao. Portugal’s control over Macao for 443 years ended on December 20, 1999, Chinese garrison troops entered Macao at noon. The commission represents the Foreign Affairs Ministry in matters related to the central government. It is the institution that deals with the Macao Government. It is also the agency that processes applications from foreign countries and international organizations that would like to establish consulates or representative offices in Macao. Under the Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region, the territory’s government has the authority to handle some of its external affairs.
“Lotus” Bridge 莲花桥
Vehicles crossed a brand new bridge linking Macao the Zhuhai, a city in South China’s Guangdong Province on December 10, 1999. The 1,781-meter-long and 30-meter-wide bridge was named “Lotus” and put to use. It is the second passage connecting Macao with the inland China. Built at a cost of 200 million yuan (US $ 240,000), the project was jointly sponsored by Zhuhai and Macao and its construction began in June in 1998.
Ruins of St. Paul’s 大三巴牌坊
The great ruined façade and staircase to the church of the Mother of God, popularly known as St. Paul’s, is the most prominent landmark of Macao. Designed by an Italian Jesuit, and, with the assistance of Japanese Christian artisans who had fled from feudal persecution in Nagasaki, the church was built at the period 1602 to 1637. In 1835, a big fire burned down the church, and leaving only the façade, the staircase, and portions of a wall. It remained unchanged until revamping was undertaken and was completed in mid-1991. The façade is crowned by the cross of Jerusalem, below which are three tiers with niches containing statues that were cast from bronze, at a local cannon and bell factory.
Monte Fort 大炮台
Also known as Citadel of Sao Paulo de Monte, it was built in the period 1617 to 1626 as part of the church of St. Paul’s project and with the added purpose of defending the city from enemy attacks.
The Monte Fort’s great moment of glory eventually came in 1622 when the Dutch colonialists attempted to invade Macao and were ignominiously defeated. It was also the only occasion that the cannon at the Fort was used.
The fort has been witness to three centuries of history, but was opened officially to the public for he first time in 1966. Centrally located, the fort is a splendid place to get a bird’s eye view of the city, including Ruins of St. Paul’s below, and visitors can See inland China just across the estuary.
Macao Tower 澳门塔
Rising fast on the edge of the Nam Van Lakes reclamation area is a structure that is a dominant feature of the local skyline—the Macao Tower. Towering 338 meters, it is visible for miles out to sea and is the tenth highest structure of its kind in the world. The tower can accommodate 1,000 people at a time.
Visitors can ascend the 734-square-meter observation deck with floor-to-ceiling low-reflecting and insulating glass and enjoy wonderful dazzling panoramic views.
Above, on Level 61, more adventurous visitors will be able to feel the breeze on their faces as they gaze down from an outside observation deck, bounded by a glass wall and with appropriate safety precautions.
Soaring another 100 meters skywards is the telecommunications section.
Lou Lim leok Gardens 卢廉若公园
This is the most Chinese style of Macao’s gardens ever built, together with a flamboyant Western-style house, by a wealthy Chinese merchant in the 19th century. The garden was restored by the government and converted into a public park in 1974.
The garden is modeled in the style of Suzhou, the most famous of all Chinese classical gardens; a large pond surrounds the Western-style house, groves of bamboo and flowering bushes. Also, there is a nine-turn zigzag bridge. Legend relates that the bridge can ward off the evil spirits.
Both located on Coloane Island, Cheoc Van, and Hac Sa beaches are suitable for sun bathing and swimming. Cheoc Van is a white sanded beach with a lovely swimming pool.
Hac Sa, literarily means “Black Sand,” is the most popular beach amongst Macao residents. Wind surfers can be hired on the beach, and there are barbecue pits at one end of the beach.
The Hac Sa recreation center is adjacent to the bus stop and contains a number of recreational facilities, including swimming pool, roller skating rink, a mini golf course, a children’s playground, and tennis courts as well. There is also a horse-riding center beside the recreation center. Horses are available for beginners as well as advanced riders, and horses can even be taken out on trails under certain conditions.
Edmund Ho Hau Wah, incumbent chief executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) was re-elected uncontested in the SAR’ s second chief executive election in September 2004. The second term as Macao SAR chief executive began on December 20, 2004 till December 20, 2009.
Temple of A-Ma 妈祖阁
The Temple of A-Ma was built five centuries ago and is thought to be the oldest in Macao. When the Portuguese sailors first landed on the peninsula and asked the name of the place, the natives replied “A-Ma-Gao” (Bay of A-Ma). And therefore the peninsula was named Macao.
A-Ma is in fact a complex of temples, some people dedicated to A-Ma, others to Kun Iam, the Goddess of Mercy and Queen of Heaven. Legend has it that, A-Ma was an attractive young woman from Fujian Province who could calm the stormy sea and protect the fishermen. The Temple was built at the very spot where she set foot on land before walking to the crest in nearby Barra Hill and ascending to heaven in glowing halo (a golden circle representing light around the heads by holy persons in religious paintings) of light and perfume.
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Chronicle of Macao The Chronicle Of Macao Before And After Nightlife And Gambling.