Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
March 29, 2009
From journal World Heritage Macau
December 15, 2004
The most prominent plaza in Macau is probably the Largo do Senado (Senate Square), a space shaped like an elongated triangle. It is a bustling area frequented by locals scurrying to nearby stores and restaurants, balanced with a less frenetic population intent on relaxing here. The square, with a wavy Portuguese-style stone pattern and a central fountain, is surrounded by several important and picturesque buildings, many with arcaded walkways which draw a variety of vendors and add life and character to the area. If your time is limited in Macau, this is a good spot for a quick taste of its history. Get some free brochures from the Macau Government Tourist Office conveniently located in the Ritz Building.
Across the street from the shortest side of the plaza is the dryly titled Institute for Civic and Municipal Affairs (IACM in Portuguese) building. This simple, vaguely neoclassical whitewashed block was formerly called the Leal Senado ("Loyal Senate"), and old photographs will show its central elevation capped with these bold letters instead of its current name in Portuguese and Chinese. The interesting old name refers to the former senators who refused to recognize the sovereignty of Spain during its sixty-year rule over Portugal. This current structure was built in 1784 and is also the home of the mayor’s office. The attractive wood-paneled Senate Library, the art gallery, and the open central courtyard are worth a look.
Across from the tourist office are the General Post Office of 1931, currently surrounded by a cage of prickly bamboo scaffolding, and the attractive Santa Casa da Misericordia (Holy House of Mercy). This former home of the downtrodden is now a small museum with two exhibit rooms. A landmark of a different nature is Long Kei, a large Cantonese restaurant with an extensive menu and a small neon cow on its main elevation.
The Macau Cathedral is a bit east of the Largo do Senado. Built in 1850, its most colorful features are its stained glass windows. If one walks north to follow the narrowing square, you will first pass a series of glossy storefronts selling Western merchandise. Once you are at the uppermost point of the plaza, you will encounter a couple of palm trees and the Church of St. Dominic (Sao Domingoes in Portuguese). Dating from the early 17th Century, the deep yellow elevations of the structure feature green shutters, creating a tropical "colonial Baroque" appearance. After serving time as military barracks, a stable, and a public works office, the church was renovated in 1997 and currently contains the Treasury of Sacred Art museum.
From journal Bill in China - MACAU
New York, New York
November 8, 2000
From journal Macau, A Slice of Europe.