Macau. Guia Fortress
Guia Hill (Colina da Guia, 松山 / 東望洋山) is the tallest point of the Macau Peninsula, at 93 meters. The word “guia” means “guidance” in Portuguese. On the other hand, the Chinese name translates to “pine (or fir) hill”. Built between 1622 and 1638, the Guia Fortress (Fortaleza da Guia, 松山炮台 / 東望洋炮台) successfully protected the Portuguese colony from invaders for centuries. Maybe you will start your Macanese adventure here, but for me it was one of the last checked off must-sees, so it felt like both a complementation (last one to go) and a summary (you can view the whole town from here). The cable car to the top costs only 3 patacas, ida e volta (round trip), so I gave it a go.
Its a short ride but gave me a feel of getting “above” everything that I’ve seen and experienced in the town. A nice detailed map welcomes you on the top.
From here it is a short walk along the park and some sport facilities to the fort. Inside, rises the simple but elegant Our Lady of Guia Chapel (Capela de Nossa Senhora da Guia, 聖母雪地殿教堂). It was constructed very early, around 1622. If you are here, be sure to go inside to see the frescoes. They have been found and meticulously restored between 1996 and 2001. Typically for Macau, they are a fascinating blend of Western and Eastern motifs.
The lighthouse next to the chapel was built much later, around 1865. It was the first structure of its kind in this part of the world. I climbed its stairs to get to the top, where a circular observation deck and the lantern are located. The views are magnificent, especially rewarding if you already know the topography of Macau.
The places you can see most clearly from here include for example the Tap Seac Square
and the land during reclamation for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Zhuhai Port (a the time time I was there, but now already completed!).
Before walking back to the cable car, I also checked out the Military Tunnels. The entry is free (yay!), but mind that it is closed on Mondays.
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