The Historic Centre of Macau is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was added in 2005 as the 31st designated World Heritage site in China and it consists over twenty different locations. The locations are a mix of Chinese and Portuguese cultures and the include monuments such as urban squares, streetscapes, churches and temples.After strolling through some Chinese neighbourhoods we entered the Historic Centre at the North, at one of its most famous places, the Ruins of St. Paul’s. The Ruins of St. Paul’s refers to the ruins of a 16th century complex including of what was originally St. Paul’s College and the Cathedral of St. Paul also known as “Mater Dei“, a 17th century Portuguese cathedral dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle. Today, the ruins are one of Macau’s most famous landmarks.Previously, the streets were almost empty and we were the only visitors strolling through the streets. But as asoon as we entered the Ruins of St. Paul’s we were surrounded by hundreds of visitors. Mainly Asians, and mainly in little groups – it was packed.There were even some Chinese New Year decorations plus some Panda statues – they added some interesting flair to our pictures of Ruins of St. Paul’s!
\Next to the Ruins of St Paul’s are remains of the old city walls and the Na Cha Temple. The Na Tcha Temple, built in 1888, is a Buddhist and Taoist temple dedicated to the worship of the deity Na Tcha. The small traditional Chinese temple is a simple, single chamber building measuring 8.4 meters (28 ft) long and 4.51 meters (14.8 ft) wide. The entrance porch opens to the temple building measuring 5 meters (16 ft) in depth. The building is painted gray, with few ornamentations, except for paintings on walls under the entrance porch.We walked down the steps to the city centre. There was a tiny street with hundreds of stalls and shops, all selling Macau sweets and delicatessen: – Almond cookies – there are some typical almond cookies produced in Macau. They are fairly dry and powdery, but with a nice taste. You just have to ensure to drink something, as they are very dry and sweet.
– Egg tarts – these are also sold in Hong Kong, but the ones in Macau are sweeter and the sugar on top is burnt and caramelized. You can get them on almost every streetcorner, not just around the Ruins of St. Paul’s.
– Barbequed meat – we noticed also dried slices of meat. Thee are seasoned with spices and served up in sheets. Similar to beef jerky, they are sweetened and seasoned with spices and usually made of pork and beef, though there are also gourmet wild boar and ostrich varieties. Eager stall owners standing outside their shops with large scissors are only too happy to snip off a chunk for you to try before you buy (although we did not buy any!).We then passed St. Dominic’s Church, which was very crowded……walked past the Senado Square (with very cheesy Chinese New Year’s Decoration)…