Colonial Macau, Cathedrals, Fortress

Trip Start Dec 28, 2011
Trip End Dec 31, 2011

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Flag of China  , Macau,
Thursday, December 29, 2011

After lunch I tried to use my maps to orient myself and head to the historic part of town. I had wandered somewhat off course and these streets weren't even shown on the map. Eventually I oriented myself back and headed to Leal Senado the main historic street. 



At the top of the street is the Leal Senado which is the old parliament building. As you enter there is a courtyard and staircase leading up with blue tiled ceramics in the andalusian style I had seen in spain. 



The upper floor was the main council chamber. This was an ornate wooden state room with portraits and a large conference table. On the top floor was a historic library, very dickens or victorian looking with large wood bookcases to the ceiling and large bound manuscripts and volumes of books. Due to the historic nature no photography was allowed. 



Back in the main square to the right of the Leal Senado building was the Santa Casa De Misericordia. This had $5 admission ($.60 cents) so I used my three macau coins left over from lunch with two hong kong coins to pay. 




Again this was a historic building with elaborate woodwork. The first room was a display of religious items and ceramics in glass cases. This led into a council chamber similar to the first building I entered. There was a grand table and chairs facing two elaborately draped windows overlooking the main street.


On one side was a portrait of a religious leader and his skull was preserved in a case below the portrait. The walls of the room had other portraits of historic leaders, and the windows opened onto a terrace overlooking the main street. There was another room with church relics and gowns. 


I then went to the other end of the main street to see a beautiful pastel plastered cathedral the Sao Domingos. This had a very impressive church interior with stained glass windows. On the right side was a passage leading to stairs upstairs. This surprisingly was a four level museum housing numeruous church relics, religious artworks, and ornately decorated gowns.  


Then I went up another side street to the Se Cathedral, again elaborate architecture in another beautiful square. Next door was the bishops residence where visitors were not allowed. There was also a giant outdoor nativity scene. 



I then followed the street signs to Sao Paolo Cathedral. The streets were packed with tourists and were many interesting stores. Some side streets were selling different types of foods which I should have tried but I already had lunch and trying not to spend hong kong money and getting macau change back.


The Sao Paolo Cathedral was easy to find. At the end of the street is a giant staircase leading up to an romanesque arched entrance. Unfortunately the cathedral is long since destroyed and only the entrance facade remains. The interior is just the remains of the building and an underground exhibit. Beside was an interesting buddhist temple.

The large hill overlooking Sao Paolo cathedral is Forteleza do Monte, a hilltop fortress. You can walk to the top to see the canons overlooking all sides. Inside the fortress is the museum of macau but I decided to skip as it was late afternoon and I wanted to get back to hong kong early now that I now the one hour ferry can take upto three hours with the nonsense loading and unloading at each end.

Trying to navigate myself I went off track again and couldnt find myself on the map. Eventually I made it to some very interesting architectural streets and a church facing some sort of gallery. i was able to get my bearings from then and tried going to Park Guia to see another fortress. 


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