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Why Church of Our Lady of Penha is special ?
The Chapel Our Lady of Penha is located at the top of Penha Hill. The place was donated by the Senado to the Augustinians for the construction of a church dedicated to “Our Lady of Penha of France”, the navigator’s protector. It is said that the purpose for promoting the chapel foundation was related to an appreciation to The Holy Virgin Mary for Her help in a narrowly escape of a Portuguese ship from Dutch raiders.
The chapel was built in 1622 over the bulwark of Our Lady of Good Birth. It was property of the Augustinians until their expulsion in 1834, in consequence of the liberalism period in Portugal. In 1837 it was reconstructed, along with the Bishop’s Residence, alongside the church, and, in 1935, almost completely rebuild. For many years, the chapel served as shrine for sailors embarking on often hazardous voyages.
What to explore at Church of Our Lady of Penha?
On the large open courtyard fronting the chapel is a marble image of Our Lady of Lourdes facing Macau and China. It is said to be praying for both lands. Close to it, down the steps of a staircase in the hillside, also facing Macau and China, there is a picturesque grotto with a smaller image of, again, Our Lady of Lourdes.
Both images were put in place as a consequence of the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady in Lourdes, which happened in 1858.
Every year, on the 13th of May, thousand of faithful joins the image of Our Lady of Fatima for a pilgrimage and procession. It begins in St. Domingo Church, meanders through the streets of Macau, and finally ends in Penha Church. The devotees come from all over to accompany Our Lady of Fatima. Leading the procession, three children, dressed as the three children who saw and heard Blessed Mary in Portugal, back in 1917.
- Excellent spot for photographer
- Decent church visit, great views of the bay
- A mix between history and nature
- Quiet and lovely church!
- Great view and photo opp
Penha Hill, Macau, China
Tips for you
this is a point of pilgrimage for sailors embarking on a hazardous voyage since 1622- at the foot of a flight of stone steps is a popular grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
Our lady of Penha is a simple church situated on a hill at the Southern part of Macau Peninsula. This church use to be a place of pilgrimage for sailors and i suppose it doesn't really have a interesting history therefore it wasn't listed as one of the UNESCO site.If you are visiting Ah Ma Temple at Barra Square and have some spare time, you might wish to take a stroll up the hill in order to visit the church. It is a short climb but rest assured you will be treated to a gorgeous view of the Macau Peninsula.It took me 15 minutes to walked up Penha hill from Barra Square. The architectural of the church is not exactly eye-catching but the view over Macau Tower and the city is spectacular. I am glad that i am able to witness the orange glow in the misty sunset before the caretaker lock up the church. Despite the many random building structures that were erected anywhere and everywhere without a sense of uniformity, the sunset in Macau seems to be able to make the entire city glow in a radiant and seductive manner. There are no apparent reasons why and how but it just seems like everything have fallen into place comfortably and the unsymmetrical sight of the old buildings juxtaposed against Macau Tower started to grow on me.If you are an avid photographer, i will recommend that you make your way here during the 'golden hour' to capture the sight. Do take note that the church will be locked up around 5.30pm however there are still spaces surrounding the church which offer you to capture the view. It might be a little difficult getting a taxi however if you aren't feeling tired, it only take you less than an hour to walk back to Senado Square. Alternatively, you can take a bus at Barra Square or try your luck waiting for a taxi.
A brilliant cityscape of Macao, and well worth a visit. The church itself is uninteresting and nothing special, but the views over the emerging city are fabulous. Nearby is another viewpoint over to the harbour area and back towards the Sofitel Ponte 16. Yes it is a short walk up a small hill, and it can be warm and humid, but you are in the tropics and that won't be a surprise...the view might be! There is a small stall/cafe selling drinks and tourist tat, so you can reward your efforts and replenish lost energy. Don't take a taxi as you'll miss the atmospheric street on the way.
I walked from the city center up a short hill (one of the ways up is near Sai Wan lake). It was a nice walk. I walked up through the bungalow area. It was an additional tiring 20 minutes but at least you can see where the rich people stay in Macau. When I got up there I realize it's not a very touristy location (It's not part of the official UN heritage sites) so that means a restful serene peak with great views, strong winds, and a quiet church for reflection. Of course there are other folks there as well, but most of them were like me - visiting alone. Recommended for the view.