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[Travel Guide] [Macau] Protestant Cemetery [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-1-12 14:27:10 |Display all floors
The old Protestant Cemetery (Cemitério Protestante) located next to the Camoes Garden is a heritage cemetery that offers a glimpse of how it is like to be a Protestant in a Roman Catholic enclave. This is where the non-Portuguese Europeans are buried. The Protestants who formed a minority in Macau had a big problem in finding a place to bury their dead. They were sort of caught between a rock and a hard place: the Catholic Portuguese authorities considered Macau sacred Roman Catholic ground and did not allow non-Catholic to be buried within its city walls. On the other hand, the Chinese also objected to non-Chinese burying their dead in their ancestral land. The British traders had to bury their dead in the no man's land between the city wall and the barrier gate. This had to be done in secrecy, under the cover of night, because if the Chinese discover that, they risk confrontation, or worse, the desecration of those graves.

The death in 1821 of Mary Morrison, the wife of imminent missionary Robert Morrison, brought the issue to the forefront. That's when officials of the East India Company decided to the tackle the matter, and resolved it with the Portuguese authorities. They voted to purchase a plot of land for burial purposes. With approval from the Portuguese, the Protestant Cemetery allowed burial to all foreigners. Several graves from outside the city wall were also exhumed and moved into the cemetery. That is why some of these graves date to earlier than 1821.

The Protestant Cemetery was in use until 1858, after which it was referred as the Old Protestant Cemetery. It is one of the sites within the Historic Centre of Macau, and is inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Getting there
Buses that pass by the Cemiterio Protestante include No. 8A, 17, 18, 19 and 26.
Nearby Sights
St Anthony's Church
Camoes Garden
Morrison Memorial Chapel

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