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October 29th 2013
Published: June 25th 2014
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Macau has a long and intriguing history. Administered by the Portuguese from the mid-16th century until late 1999, when it was the last remaining European colony in Asia, currently Macau may be best known for its gambling industry, the largest in the world, with many famous casinos as major tourist draws.

Disregarding the promises of glitter and gold that exist for most tourists to Macau today, I spent my time there exploring its past glory during one very busy day. Highlights for me weren’t the museums (Macau Museum of Art, Macau Museum), gardens or historic homes as much as the beautiful architecture, churches and temples and witnessing some of the visible fruits of centuries of cultural exchanges in terms of food, shopping and street life. The temples – Kun Ian Temple, A-Ma Temple, Na Tcha Temple to a lesser extent - were still active places of worship, while the churches – ruins of the Church of St. Paul, obviously, but also the Church of San Domingo, Church of St. Augustine and Church of St. Lawrence – were lovely and well-maintained but less vibrant, at least at the time of visiting.

The beaches of Macau are also said to be
Kun Iam TempleKun Iam TempleKun Iam Temple

The site of the first Sino-American treaty which was signed in 1844.
lovely, and a fuller trip there should probably include a visit to those along with an evening trying one’s luck at the casinos.

Additional photos below
Photos: 27, Displayed: 22


Guia FortGuia Fort
Guia Fort

The fort was constructed between 1622 and 1638, after an unsuccessful attempt by the Netherlands to capture Macau from Portugal.
Guia LighthouseGuia Lighthouse
Guia Lighthouse

The lighthouse was the first western style lighthouse in east Asia.
Church of St. PaulChurch of St. Paul
Church of St. Paul

Built from 1582 to 1602 by the Jesuits, the cathedral was one of the largest Catholic churches in Asia at the time.
Na Tcha TempleNa Tcha Temple
Na Tcha Temple

The Buddhist and Taoist temple was built in 1888 and dedicated to the worship of the child god of war.
Ruins of Church of St. PaulRuins of Church of St. Paul
Ruins of Church of St. Paul

The cathedral was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon in 1835. Today it is still one of the most important landmarks in Macau.
A-Ma TempleA-Ma Temple
A-Ma Temple

Taoist Temple built in 1488 and dedicated to Matsu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen.

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