Today, let’s shift our delicious food focus to historic four hundred years old – Macau old city walls.
As per Macau World Cultural Heritage website indicated; the Portuguese Governance initially built the City Wall in Macau counting back in the Ming Dynasty, as early as 1569. Due to opposition from the Chinese side, the fortified wall repeatedly demolished few times. The Portuguese under the pretext of resisting the invasion of foreign enemies (that is the Dutches). Until 1632, the reconstruction of the northern city walls and forts of Macau was in completion again.
The entire Macau has built these city wall along the north, east and south side. They built at the fortresses too, making Macau a castle with strict military precautions. The existing ruins of the old city wall are just part of the construction at that time.
After the completion of the city wall, the Portuguese lived more than two hundred years; it formed into two different communities facing each other across the wall. The Portuguese stayed within the boundaries; versus outside the districts of Tap Sac and Mong Ha – belongs to the chinese communities. The Chinese and Portuguese personnel (in regardless of envoys or civilians) are welcome to travel to and from the city; with an excluded condition when the church prayer bell sounds at night; the Chinese need to leave and remained outside the drawn lines.
Features of the City Wall
As per Wiki provide – the old city wall were 18.5 meters long, 5.6 meters high and 1.08 meters wide. The brick cave hole in the wall is 1.8 meters wide and 2.8 meters high. They were all made of sand, mud, fine stone and oyster shell powder. All compressed layered by layered, that made up the wall. (Source: https://zh.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old city wall ruins).
The round arched doorway can walk pass the residential houses behind. Whilst towards the end of the wall, an old shop sign named “Leung Wing Hing Joss Stick Village” set along. It has become a part of the heritage and Na Tcha Temple now.
“Leung Wing Hing” established more than hundred years; specialising in the production of high-end famous incense; is one of the most historical brands in Hong Kong and Macau worship Joss stick manufacturing industry. Founded in the 18th and 19th centuries during the period of Guangxu in the late Qing Dynasty.
It is a well-known brand that distribute all kinds of exported traditional Chinese Herbs and Joss sticks. The old shop is located on Hong Kung Street, formerly the Rua de Cinco de Outubro. The branches and production workshops are located at Rua da Lorchas and Ruins of St Paul main street respectively. Other branches also opened in Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
The Leung Wing Hing Joss stick factory was once located behind the old city wall named “The Sun street”. It was one of the four major Joss stick factories in Macau back in the 1940s and 1950s. That time Chan Luen Hing, Wing Gak Hin and Wing Seong Kak, claimed as the four gigantic incense owners.
Protection against Historical Heritage
In 2016, the old signage was damaged, converted to yellow paint base; with black outlined chinese calligraphy letters. As per the monument restoration estimates by the Macau Cultural Bureau, the cost of refurbishments estimated a million and more.
Last year Macau has vigorously promoted the protection of all historical relics – considered as an offence to depict or applying graffiti paintings on all relics. As a local, we should strive best protect all heritages’ original look; not only safe guarding the profound pieces of four hundred years historical masterpiece well placed in good shape; But also show case such distinct chinese and Portuguese, east-western different local community cultures from time to time. It is quite rare to experience peerless years of full Chinese and Western cultures in a small city like Macau.
The ruins of the old city wall found in many places still across Macau Island; Mostly now located in the busy public roads of Macau, you can visit them any time below:
Back door of Santa Rosa Girls’ Middle School
An excellent spot grabbing fb check-in quick photo snap shots; you can see the rare residential and the high-rise buildings, in conjunction with casino background closeups. There is also a local hospital nearby (Hospital Conde S. Januário), holding a small footprint of the old city wall, on the hillside of S. Francisco Garden.
Near Ruins St Paul and Na Tcha Temple
A loess wall in front of the Na Tcha Temple of the Ruins St Paul. Behind the earth wall is Patio do Espinho. The other two identified location that might find difficult to reach are: the wall of Ricci Middle School; and St Anthony’s Parish (named Calcada de São Francisco Xavier). That is, between the street of Travessa do Paxio at the Ruins, all the way down before the Camoes Garden. The city wall retained its partial look still .
Bizarre view of Penha Church
Spend some time at Observatory deck, Miradouro de Penha. That faces towards the widespread charming Macau-Taipa landscapes in a three sixty degree view; accompanied with a small, unique garden. The Penha Chapel in high historical values also known as the main attractive spot for tourists.
Along the way may wish to observe the streets of combined Chinese-Portuguese cultures; in align with the details of the other high-rise buildings and old house views. Don’t missed out the local neighboring day-to-day life experiences checkout point and different local restaurants cuisine explorations. They all considered as a good visiting point; Definitely an in-depth walking route recommendation on the check lists.