Beside Sao Paulo Cathedral is another large fortress--called Monte Fort--that offers breathtaking views of the cathedral, downtown, and China. This is Macau's largest fort and was constructed way back in 1616. Today, instead of soldiers, the fort houses the Macau Museum (opened in 1998) and a small gift shop along with some pretty flower gardens.
Built 1617-26, Monte Forte occupies 21,000 square feet in an irregular quadrangle with bastions at each corners. It contained barracks, cisterns and storehouses capable of sustaining a siege of up to two years. Constructed by the Jesuits of chunambo on granite foundations, with brick gauardrooms and cannon housings, the fort was part of a complex together with the college and church of St. Paul.
The cannons commanded very wide fields of fire, covering the Inner and Outer Harbours and the Chinese border. The guns were used only once, when the Dutch invaded Macau in 1622. A cannonball fired by a priest from Monte hit the invaders' powder key, creating total confusion in which the Portuguese and their African slaves drove the Dutch back to sea.
Today the fort is a public park, with fine views of St. Paul’s and the city. It is also used by the meteorology department to study the weather which is open for visitors to see the tracking charts and weather-watching equipment. There is a tourist information office at the entrance.
Opening hours :
May to September - 6:00am to 7:00pm
October to April - 7:00am to 6:00pm
Monte Fort was built on a hilltop in the early 17th century by the Jesuits as part of a complex which also included the college and church of St. Paul's. Today the area is a popular public park with great views, where only the ruins of the fortress and some cannons can be seen (and the new Museum of Macao).
I've read somewhere that the Chinese name of the fortress means cannon platform and it does live up to this image: there are cannons everywhere, pointing toward the city. However, they were used only once, in 1622, when the Dutch invaded Macao.
Located at the 400-year-old Monte Fort adjacent to the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral, the Museum of Macau houses fabulous displays showcasing the rich history of the former Portuguese colony. Visually interesting static, multimedia and a few hands-on exhibilits make it a fun and educational stop for kids.
A stroll through the Fort is fun and free. Purchase a museum pass for $25 HK (adults) and $12 HK (children under 18) for admission to the museum and 4 other Macau museums. Hours: 10:00 - 18:00, closed Mondays.
This old Portuguese fort was built initially to protect the next door St. Paul's Church.
There were cannons. This picture shows a panaromic view of the downtown through one of the cannon hole. It was suppose to be a defining picture with some preplanning put into it.
Anyway, if you have walked all the way to St. Paul's ruins, just a few more steps higher will get you to Monte Fort now a public park for a city view from another angle.
See Macau from Monte Fort, which is located on a hill. From its vantage position, you could get a 360 degree view of Macau as you walk around the Fort. Wonderful place for panaromic photography. See the many cannons which were intended for the defence of Macau during its early days. Hop into the Macau Museum which is part of the Fort while you are there.
Fort built by the Portuguese Jesuits as their headquarters at the same time as St.Paul’s, was used as an effective defense against the Dutch in 1624.
An interesting story tells about the Jesuit priest that during the Dutch attacks defeated with a single cannon shot the entire Dutch fleet.
The fort is on the top of the hill and has a great view of the city. It has some old canons and pleasant trees and benches. Oh, it's free, so that's nice.
The city museum is basically underneth it.
I went up lot of hills in Macao and this was my favorite.
Built by Jesuit missionaries in the early 17th century, Monte Fort sits atop a hill adjacent to the ruins of St. Paul's Church. The high stone walls are lined along the top with old canons and the upper interior of the fort is now a public park. In 1998 the Macau Museum was built in the center of the fort.
The fort is one of the most interesting remnants of Portugal's colonization of Macau. It symbolizes Portugal's determination to keep Macau secure from all other European rivals. This fort was used to defend Macau from Dutch invasion in 1622 and also acted as the residence for the first colonial governors of Macau.
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