Attraction Rampa da Guia, Macau, Municipality of Macau, China Published on: 10-10-2016
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Why Monte Forte (Fortaleza do Monte) is special ?
Fortaleza do Monte (Portuguese for Mount Fortress, also Monte Forte, officially Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora do Monte de São Paulo, in English: Fortress of Our Lady of the Mount of St. Paul; Chinese: 大炮台) Built by the Jesuits, from 1617 to 1626, this was the Portuguese colony of Macau's (in the People's Republic of China) principal military defence structure and was crucial in successfully holding off the attempted Dutch invasion of Macau in 1622. It was built on top of Mount Hill, strategically located in the centre of the Macau Peninsula, watching over the city in all directions. The fortress is in the shape of an irregular trapezoid that covers an area of approximately 8000 square metres.
In the past, it was equipped with cannons, military barracks, wells and an arsenal that held sufficient ammunition and supplies to endure a siege lasting two years. The walls are 3.7 metres wide at the base, 9 metres high narrowing upwards to 2.7 metres wide at the top. The parapets were crenulated for the installation of 32 cannons and the two corners of the southeast wall have watchtowers. There are no weapons facing mainland China, indicating that the fortress was only built for defence against attacks from the sea. In 1965 a weather observatory was installed at the site and the fortress was demilitarized in 1976. In 1998 the Museum of Macau was installed at the site.
What to explore at Monte Forte (Fortaleza do Monte)?
The forte covers an area of about 10,000 square meters which appears irregularly quadrilateral. It was first built in the Ming Emperor Shenzong period (1617 AD) and was completed in 1626, lasted for 10 years. The forte experienced the vicissitudes of 300 years history and was finally lifted a ban in 1966; since then, it has become a tourist attraction open to the public. Today, in the central monte forte, it is the Macau Museum which was built in 1998; and at the top of the monte fort, it is a garden which can let you to overlook a 360-degree landscape of Macau, even overlook the Pearl River Estuary and the scenery along the Gongbei area.
There is a large open space on the forte which has green grass, towering and lush old trees and the giant steel gun. On the fort, there are many historic and cultural relics and historic buildings such as the ancient pagodas which was one of the sites of Society of Jesus; the Southern European single-storey house which is the office of the meteorological observatory now; the ancient bell which was created by the famous casting gun expert and was relocated to the Portugal and then a few years ago given back to Macau; the stone carving at the entrance of the fort which has recorded this fort's military exploits to resist foreign enemies.
- Big Canons, Intact fort
- Historic & Beautiful
- Though of the Old World
- Interesting Artifacts
- Great view over Macau
Rampa da Guia, Macau, Municipality of Macau, China
Tips for you
One of the two main forts that protected the city of Macau during the days of the Portuguese and the British management, this is located right next to (and above) the Ruins of St Paul's Church. Unless you're in Macau only to gamble at the casinos, you're definitely going to St Paul's for the obligatory photo on the steps. Definitely go to the Fort while you're there. It's a slight climb, but no more than fifty steps or so spread out along the path to it. The views of the city are good, and they give you an insight into why the colonizers wanted to protect this harbor with the big guns mounted here (as well as in the Guia Fortress). There are no explanations on the fort itself, but contained in the center of it is the Macau Museum, which I highly recommend for a history of the city and its culture.
I missed this on a previous visit to Macau . For us , it was worth it just for the view . You get a different view of the Ruins of St Paul , looking down and from the side .Macau is an interesting place to walk around and the fort gives a good perspective of the layout of the territory . Right beside St Paul's and not far from Senado Square . The site offers the chance to absorb the uniqueness that is Macau , a strange mix of Chinese and old Portuguese .
Across from the remnants of St Pauls Cathedral, the old city fortress is located up a series of steep steps, and has relics from it's past including, canons and the Macau museum( closed mondays). It offers great vistas of the surrounding area and wonderful scenic photo opportunities.There is a small refreshments shop to get a cold soft drink after the climb up.