The Macau Special Administration Region (or SAR), is composed of Peninsula Macau, with its famous Ah-Ma Temple, Portuguese baroque churches cobblestone streets and older casinos. This peninsula with its Barrier Gate was the traditional gateway into and from China for much of the 20th century. South of the peninsula was the island of Taipa, now joined by infill with the island of Coloane. This island was regarded as an extension of peninsula Macau by the Portuguese, but they did little to consolidate it until the 19th century when a series of events forced them to establish a legitimate and physical presence in 1851. They built a Catholic church in 1885 and established an administrative centre at an old fishing village with jurisdiction over the two islands.
In 1921 the Portuguese built five houses along the shoreline for senior civil servants, who were mainly Macanese. The shoreline now borders a lake. The five houses along with the nearby church were acknowledged as being of architectural value in 1992 and in 1999 were opened to the public as a museum. The houses are; a “Macanese Living Museum”, “Exhibition Gallery”, “Creative Casa”, “Nostalgic House” and a “House for receptions”. As a result, the houses also showcase the unique Macanese culture that is built upon its mixed Chinese, Portuguese and other cultures (e.g. African, Southeast Asian and South Asian) that were connected by the Portuguese Empire. The Exhibition Gallery changes its exhibits regularly.
This is a great starting point from which to explore the fast disappearing world of the Macanese as a unique cultural group that exists in Hong Kong, Portugal, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Museum Information: https://www.taipavillagemacau.com/directory/taipa-houses-museum/
Location: Avenida da Praia, Taipa Old Town, Taipa, Macau SAR. China.
Opening Hours: 10:00am-6:30pm Tuesday-Sunday, Closed on Mondays.
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