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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > April 2015 > Explore Macau’s rich Chinese and Portuguese architectural heritage

Explore Macau’s rich Chinese and Portuguese architectural heritage

Lying 40 miles to the west of Hong Kong, Macau is a Chinese city shaped by its time as a Portuguese colony, and now earning its reputation as the Vegas of the East.

Stopover Macau

The ornate façade on the Church of St Paul
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Portuguese heritage


The most treasured icon in Macau, the façade and stairway are all that remain of this early-17th-century Jesuit church perched on a hill in the middle of the city. With its statues, portals and engravings that make up a ‘sermon in stone’, the church was one of the greatest monuments to Christianity in Asia before it burned in 1835 (macauheritage. net; Travessa de São Paulo; free).


The highest point on the peninsula has panoramic views of the city and, on clearer days, across to mainland China. At the top is the Chapel of Our Lady of Guia, which was built in 1622 and retains most of its original features, including valuable frescoes (10am–5pm). You could walk up, but it’s easier to take the Guia cable car that runs from the entrance of Flora Gardens (8am–6pm Tue–Sun; single 20p).

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