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The Historic Center of Macau is known for its blend of western and Chinese culture. Portuguese settlers first arrived on Macau's shores to trade in the early 16th century and it all began from there. These settlers were the first from the west to establish a settlement in Asia, so that makes Macau's past a little more historic. |
The Portuguese arrival marked the start of over 400 years of combining western and Chinese cultures. As Macau became an international trading port and the first real opening of China to the west as well as China's first experience of the western world, more and more people came from different countries making their own impact on the regions landscape. This is most evident in the city's architecture which is a mix of western and traditional Chinese building, churches, streets, squares etc.
The Historic Center itself is made up of over twenty different locations that show the development of this famous dual culture.
As well as building styles that are mainly Portuguese and Chinese, there are other influences to be seen, such as different western religions and Chinese traditional beliefs in the churches and temples in the area. Macau is important historically as the place where the Chinese and the west first began to learn of each others religious beliefs.
Most well known on the list to see are the Ruins of St. Paul's Church built in 1602 and the A-Ma temple built in 1448. Other churches include St. Joseph's Seminary and Church, St. Laurence's Church, St. Augustine's Church, the Cathedral, St. Dominic's Church and St. Anthony's Church. A Protestant cemetery and the Dom Pedro V Theatre were both the first of their kinds in Asia. The Moorish Barracks, Sir Robert Ho Tung Library, the Leal Senado Building, the Holy House of Mercy, the Section of the Old City Walls, the Mount Fortress, Sam Kai Vui Kun Temple and Na Tcha Temple are among others to visit. Guia Fortress, Lighthouse and Chapel are in a separate area.
"It bears witness to one of the earliest and longest-lasting encounters between China and the West", is just one of the things said of Macau's Historic Center when it was added to the World Heritage List in 2005.