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The Fortaleza da Barra, or Barra Fort, was constructed in 1629 to defend the Inner Harbour against enemy attack (enemy here refers to the Dutch, who had been threatening to invade Macau all that time). With its 30-foot tall walls and half a dozen cannons, Barra Fort successfully defended Macau. Commander of Barra fort was elected directly by the King of Portugal, and is not under the command of the Governor of Macau. Built into the hills at the southern tip of the Macau peninsula, Barra Fort was like a small town in itself. Its walls were 19 feet think at the base, and 11 feet at the top.|
A chapel was added to Barra Fort in 1740, and dedicated to St James (São Tiago), the patron saint of the military. Like all the forts in Macau, Barra Fort fell into disrepair over the years, until 1976, when the Macau Government Tourist Office converted parts of it into a Portuguese inn, the Pousada de São Tiago, today one of Macau's big attractions (at time of writing, Oct 2007, the inn was undergoing renovations).
Visitors to Barra Fort may still explore it and examine the foundation as well as the chapel inside.
Among the buses that pass the entrance of Fortaleza da Barra at Pousada de Sao Tiago at Avenida da Republica include Nos. 6, 9 and 28B.
A Ma Temple
Avenida da Republica, near Fortaleza da Barra
Aerial view of the Barra
Fortaleza da Barra Location Map
Entrance to Pousada de Sao Tiago