The Historic Centre of Macao

It was the great era of exploration initiated by Prince Henry the Navigator. Vasco da Gama had made his historic voyage to India, Albuquerque had settled in Malacca and the Iberian explorers were seeking a gateway to China. Macao subsequently developed into a main port in China open to the outside world before the 19th century.

The Historic Centre of MacaoThe Historic Centre of Macao

It was also an important international port in Asia. With its prosperity in international trading, Macao attracted more people to settle there from countries around the world. These people brought their different cultures, their social customs, and their religions to this area and built houses, churches, streets, fort and even a cemetery. This area is the core part of what is now called the Historic Centre of Macao. Throughout these 400 years, Macao has been the hub where cultures of the West and the East exchange.

At the same time, these settlers introduced to their own countries, the cultures, religions and social customs of the Chinese people. Macao was a window by which foreign countries got to know about China. Macao became the land where China meets the cultures of the western world.

The Historic Centre of Macao has the quintessence of the Chinese and the Western cultural exchange of more than 400 years, and provides a particular proof of the exchange of cultural, architectural and religious influences between the East and the West. Its unique value has made it to be included in the list of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage in 2005.

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