Macau is bordered by the city of Zhuhai in Mainland China to the north and the Pearl River Delta to the east and south, Hong Kong is about 64 km (40 mi) across the Delta. A former Portuguese colony, Macau was returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1999. The city still retains its unique mixture of Portuguese and Chinese cultures. It's also known for its casinos and luxury hotels. It is a popular day trip destination from Hong Kong.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ruins of St. Paul's are the ruins of a 17th-century complex that includes what was originally St. Paul's College and the Church of St. Paul also known as "Mater Dei", a 17th-century Portuguese church dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle. Today, the ruins are one of Macau's best known landmarks. Built from 1602 to 1640, the collegiate was one of the largest Catholic churches in Asia at the time. The ruins now consist of the southern stone façade, which sits on a small hill, with 68 stone steps leading up to it.
Also known as Fortaleza do Monte, it is the historical military centre of Macau. The fort was built between 1617 and 1626 to protect the properties of the Jesuits from pirates. Later, the Fortaleza was taken over by the Portuguese colonial governor and the relevant authorities for the defence of Macau. The fort remained a restricted military area until 1965 when the barracks in the fort were converted into a weather observatory and was opened to the public.
St. Dominic's Church is a late 16th-century Baroque-style church that was established by three Spanish Dominican priests from Mexico. The first Portuguese-language newspaper in China was published at St. Dominic's in 1822. The church was built in a Baroque style and is noted for its mixture of European and local Macanese features in its design. This is demonstrated in the church's use of Chinese-style roof tiles and doors made of teak. The church underwent renovation in 1997 and the Treasure of Sacred Art Museum was added alongside the church.
The Lou Kau Mansion is a historical house built around 1889 as the home of Lou Kau, a prominent Chinese merchant. The building has been listed as part of the historic center of Macau and a protected property since 1992. It was built with Portuguese decoration and Chinese architecture style. The blue-bricked building consists of two stories and three courtyards. The mansion now regularly hosts small-scale concerts by the Macau Chinese Orchestra.
The Senado Square, or Senate Square, is a paved town square and part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site. It was named after the Leal Senado, a meeting place for the Chinese and Portuguese from the 16th to 18th centuries, located directly in front of the square, where Leal Senado Building stands today. The vast majority of the buildings around the square are European styled and many are protected monuments. Many events are hosted on the square, including festival celebrations, flea markets and performances.
The Dom Pedro V Theatre is a historical theatre and is one of the first western-style theatres in East Asia. The theater is an important landmark in the region and remains a venue for important public events and celebrations today. It was built in 1860 by local Portuguese to commemorate their reigning king, Peter V. The theater is neo-classical in design, incorporating a portico front on a rectilinear plan. Its current façade was added in 1873. Notably, the venue hosted the Italian opera Madama Butterfly's premiere in Asia and was used as a refugee shelter in the Second World War.
The lighthouse was constructed between 1864 and 1865, the first western style lighthouse in east Asia or on the China coast. It stands at Guia Hill, the highest point in Macau, and has a light visible for some 20 miles in clear weather conditions. The lighthouse is a part of the Guia Fortress, a 17th-century colonial military fort, chapel, and lighthouse complex.
The Macau Museum presents the history of the city and territory of the former Portuguese colony of Macau, now a Special Administrative Region of China. The museum was inaugurated in 1998.
The A-Ma Temple is a temple dedicated to the Chinese sea-goddess Mazu. Built in 1488, it is one of the oldest in Macau. The name Macau is thought to be derived from the name of the temple. It is said that when the Portuguese sailors landed at the coast just outside the temple and asked the name of the place, the natives replied Maa-gok or A-maa-gok (lit. "The Pavilion of the Mother"). The Portuguese then named the peninsula "Macau". It is also one of the first scenes photographed in Macau.
The Macau Tower stands 338 metres tall and has an observation deck with panoramic views, restaurants, theaters, shopping malls and the Skywalk X, a thrilling walking tour around the outer rim. It offers the best view of Macau and in recent years has been used for a variety of adventurous activities. Besides being used for observation and entertainment, the tower is also used for telecommunications and broadcasting.
The Venetian Macao is a 39-story luxury hotel and casino resort on the Cotai Strip. The 10,500,000-square-foot resort is modeled on its sister casino resort The Venetian Las Vegas, and is the seventh-largest building in the world by floor area. The Venetian Macao is also the largest casino in the world, and the largest single structure hotel building in Asia. Other than accommodation, gambling, shopping, the hotel also offers an exclusive private club, the well-known San Luca Canal, an indoor arena called Cotai Arena, and a 90-minute stage production called Zaia by Cirque du Soleil.