Macau's history is in its streets

Macau's history is in its streets
Ruins of St. Paul’s is one of the historic sites in Macau.

A melting pot of culture and history, Macau embodies the coming together of the East and West due to its former Portuguese-colony status.

The co-existence of the two cultures is evident in the Historic Centre of Macau, an urban area within the old city of Macau.

Eight squares - such as the European-looking Lilau Square and Cathedral Square - and 22 historic buildings make up this historic centre, which is a product of over 400 years of cultural exchanges.

This area was designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2005, making it the 31st in China.

For finance manager Andrew Wee, a stroll through the streets there is akin to attending a history lesson on Macau.

"I like how they conserved the old colonial buildings. They provide a peek into European style architecture while (remaining) immersed in Asian culture," said the 37-year-old.

Having worked in Shanghai for the past five years, Mr Wee said he has been to Macau four to five times, and finds it a cheap and peaceful holiday destination.

One of the most iconic historic sites within the centre is the Ruins of St Paul's, a facade of what remains of the Church of Mater Dei. The church was built between 1602 and 1640, and was destroyed by a fire in 1835.

Nowadays, it is said to function symbolically as an altar to the city.

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