Macau. Around Senado Sq
The heart of Macau’s old town is undoubtedly beating at the Senado Square (Largo do Senado, 議事亭前地). It’s triangular in shape, paved with Portuguese mosaics and surrounded by representative buildings.
The square is named after the Leal Senado Building that closes its southern side. Built in 1784 to become the center of local politics.
Another building that dominates the square is Holy House of Mercy (Santa Casa da Misericórdia, 仁慈堂大樓). It housed, and in some cases is still housing, different charity institutions assigned to provide social, medical and educational aid. Look for the side entrance to set foot in the small Museum of the Holy House of Mercy, with its fair share of fascinating old manuscripts, religious sculptures and paintings.
If you go west from the Senado Square, you will find the St. Dominic’s Market Complex and a temple called Sam Kai Vui Kun (三街會館). It is also known as Kuan Tai Temple (關帝廟) because it is dedicated to Guan Yu, a general who lived around the 2nd century CE, was later deified and today is one of China’s most important gods.
Adjacent to the northern end of Senado Square is St. Dominic’s Square, where you will find the St. Dominic’s Church (Igreja de São Domingos, 板樟堂). This beautiful baroque church was first build in 16th and the current structure hails from 17th century. If you are visiting, don’t skip the Treasure of Sacred Art Museum inside the bell tower. It contains a plethora of religious artifacts.
From here, you can walk east towards the Cathedral. On the small alley called Travessa da Sé 大堂巷 you will find another attraction, this time Chinese-style, the Lou Kau Mansion (Casa de Lou Kau, 盧家大屋). In front of it there are several shops/restaurants, some of which specialize in beef offals (牛雜).
Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady (Igreja da Sé, 主敎座堂) is the main church of the whole diocese of Macau.
Adjacent to it is the Bishop’s Mansion. The Cathedral Square has a cross in the middle.
If you continue a few steps to the south from here, you will reach Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro – the main artery of this part of the city, from where you can continue either south for more colonial architecture or west for some less known sights.
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