Museum of Macau & Monte Fort

The Museum of Macau is a great place to go to learn about the territory and its unique history as a place where China and the west first met and mixed cultures. Monte Fort, in which the museum is now located, was originally built between 1617 and 1626 by the Jesuits. Located beside the now Ruins of St. Paul's Church, its purpose was to defend the church and its college against attack.

Square shaped with bastions on each corner and nine meter high walls lined with canons on all sides it was a formidable defence. Taken as the governor of Macau's residence it then became the regions main military zone and defence headquarters. This remained the same for about 300 years before it was turned into a meteorological station in 1965. After the decision was taken to turn the fort into a museum, it opened to the public in 1998.

Three floors, covering 2,800 square meters house the museum's exhibitions with the first two being underground. The first floor contains the Genesis of Macau Region display. This shows Macau's beginnings and the first meeting of the Portuguese settlers and Chinese. It tells of such things as trading and their cultural and religious exchanges. Also it has some old scenes recreated such as an old colonial street. Arts and Traditions are shown on the second floor including displays of daily life and the city's traditional festivals. On the top floor Contemporary Macau is the theme. It shows modern day Macau and some plans for the city's future development.

Monte Fort is a nice place for anyone with an interest in Macau to visit and as an added bonus, there is a park area at the top which has great views over the city.