Macau Historic District – World Cultural Heritage in China

Macao, a lucrative port of strategic importance in the development of international trade, was under Portuguese administration from the mid-16th century until 1999, when it was under Chinese sovereignty. With historic streets, residential, religious and public buildings of Portugal and China, the historic center of Macao is a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural influences. , architecture and technology from East and West. The site also has a fortress and a lighthouse, the oldest in China. It witnessed one of the earliest and longest encounters between China and the West, based on the vibrancy of international trade.

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Accreditation year: 2005
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)
Area: 16,1678 ha
Buffer zone: 106,791 ha
Macao Special Administrative Region

Outstanding global value

Macao, a lucrative port of strategic importance in the development of international trade on Chinese territory, became a Portuguese settlement in the mid-16th century and was returned to its sovereignty. of China in 1999. The property inscribed introduces a group of 22 main buildings and the included public spaces allowing for a clear understanding of the structure of the old commercial city. With historic streets, residential, religious and public buildings of Portugal and China, the Macao Historical Center is a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural influences. , religion, architecture and technology from East and West.

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It is witness to the first and longest confrontation between China and the West, based on the excitement of international trade. As a gateway between China and the Western world, Macao plays a strategic role in world trade. Different nationalities settled at the center of this complex network of maritime trade, along with missionaries carrying religious and cultural influences, as exemplified by the advent of the seas. Foreign building style (the theater, university, hospital, church, and China’s first Western-style fortress), many people are still using.

Macao’s unique multicultural identity can be read in the dynamic presence of Western and Chinese architectural heritage standing side by side in the city, and similar dynamics often exist in the designs. individual buildings, adapting Chinese design features in Western-style buildings and vice versa, such as incorporating Chinese characters as decorations on the style church facade baroque of the Saint Paul’s Ruins.

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Typical features of a European port city can also be seen in the settlement’s urban fabric structure with republican public squares into dense lots along narrow, meandering streets , while accumulating experience from other Portuguese settlements, is embodied in the concept of “Rua Direita” connecting the port to the citadel. The visual connections between the property and the seascape are attributes that reflect Macao’s origins as a commercial port city; The Inland Harbor in use over the centuries and still in operation today adds to that evidence.

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The invisible influences of the historic encounter have permeated the local people’s way of life, influencing religion, education, medicine, charity, language and cuisine. The core value of the historic center is not just the architecture, the urban structure, the people or their customs, but a mixture of all these. The coexistence of cultural deposits of eastern and western origin, together with their living traditions, determines the nature of the historic center.

Criterion (ii): Macao’s strategic location on Chinese territory and the special relationship established between the Chinese and Portuguese authorities facilitated an important exchange of human values. in many fields of culture, science, technology, art and architecture for many centuries.

Criterion (iii): Macao is a unique example of the first and longest confrontation between the West and China. From the 16th to the 20th centuries, it was a focal point for merchants, missionaries, and various fields of study. The impact of this encounter can be traced back to the fusion of different cultures that characterize Macao’s historic core.

Criterion (iv): Macao represents an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble illustrating the development of the encounter between Western and Chinese civilizations over the span of four and a half centuries. present in the historic route, with a series of urban spaces and architectural complexes, connecting the ancient Chinese port with the Portuguese city.

Criterion (vi): Macao is associated with the exchange of many cultural, spiritual, scientific and technical influences between Western and Chinese civilizations. These ideas directly prompted the birth of important changes in China, ultimately ending the era of the imperial feudal system and establishing the modern republic.

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Macao is a rapidly growing economic region in recent decades. However, the integrity of the main monuments and the original urban fabric that defined the historic settlement remains intact, with all the qualities necessary to fully convey the Outstanding Universal Value of property that defies the contemporary context of Macao. Land reclamation beginning in the 19th century altered the original coastline, but the historic center is still visually connected to the sea, between Guia Lighthouse and Outer Harbor to the east, A-Ma Temple with the river to the south and the Mountain Fort to the river to the west. Penha Hill inside the buffer zone also overlooks the river, and the historic route of commercial boats to Macao is still in use today, so it should also be identified as a possible visual link. enrich the interpretation of the historical center. Since 2005, there have been new development pressures outside the confines of the property, which has encouraged the expansion of detailed planning control guidelines beyond the confines of the registered site, in particular. Special focus on maintaining visual corridors between the historic center and the seascape and towards the waterfront.

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Major monuments in their urban context testify to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value in form, design, materials and use, supported by local and national archives exteriors, drawings, maps, sketches, photographs and by the fact that many monuments and public squares retain their original functions, with associated living traditions such as worship and processions is still being practiced. The authenticity of establishing the property as a historic commercial port vulnerable to development encroaches on important visual links (primary line of sight) to Outer Harbor and the river.

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Protection and management requirements

At the time of writing, 2005, the protection of the Macao Historical Center was basically guaranteed within the framework of Law-Decree 56/84/M and 83/92/M, directly related to the activities. management and conservation for conservation. of each building and its respective urban context. Executive Director Directive 202/2006 was issued following the memo, to extend planning control guidelines across the entire recorded area as well as buffer zones. Executive Director Directive 83/2008 was issued in 2008 to address the impact of development pressures outside of the real estate sector, more specifically in relation to the area around the Guia Hills and protect the property. visual corridor as well as the lighthouse’s connection to the seascape. Urban planning research for Macao,

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Through effective heritage protection mechanisms, the State Party expects the Macao Historic Center to provide an extraordinary on-site experience that fully conveys the Outstanding Universal Value of the heritage. This vision will be supported by a new urban plan designed to strengthen Macao’s identity as a historic commercial port city by maintaining visual connections to the sea and preserving the wide landscape. larger, while minimizing negative impacts from future development activities outside the buffer zone, in order to protect the visual links of the monuments. In addition to the implementation of the plan, the State Party will continue to preserve the monuments and urban features of the Historic Center of Macao, carry out reclamation of the area, and seek opportunities for restoration and reuse. use assets of heritage value in accordance with the historical characteristics of each site. This will be done in partnership with the community, who understand the Outstanding Universal Value of the heritage and carry out the mission of protecting Macao’s world heritage, to join hands, culture, value All aspects of the Macao Historical Center will continue to be protected for generations to come.

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Map of Historic Center of Macau

Area 1:

Zone 2:

Video of Macau Historic District

See also: UNESCO World Cultural/Natural Heritage Sites

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