Macao, which came under the control of Portugal in the mid-sixteenth century, was returned to China in 1999. The Historic Centre of Macao, which is packed with many Portuguese and Chinese-style religious and public buildings, is the place where the local inhabitants had their first contact with Westerners. The area displays numerous traces of the country’s exchanges of culture, architecture, and technologies with western countries. Leading landmarks of the area are a lighthouse and Guia Fortress, which is one of the oldest forts in China.

Criterion (ⅱ): Macao is an area in which exchanges took place between China and Portugal over several centuries in the areas of culture, science, technology, art, and architecture under the special relationship established between the two countries.

Criterion (ⅲ): Macao is an area that has witnessed exchanges between China and western countries since the sixteenth century as a center of activity for trading businesses, missionaries, and scholars engaging in diverse academic disciplines. Traces of those exchanges can be seen in culture conversion featuring the core part of the center.

Criterion (ⅳ): Macao is a fine example of an architectural heritage bearing testimony to the encounter between Chinese and western civilizations that took place over a period of more than 450 years. Former sea routes linking Macao with cities in Portugal attest to this heritage.

Criterion (ⅵ): Macao has long served as a channel for exchanges of culture, religion, science, and technology developed in China and Western countries. Philosophies developed through this process have played a decisive role in pushing ahead with changes in China, including the establishment of an early modern republic.

Country: China
Location: Macao Special Administrative Region
Coordinates: N 22° 11′ 28.651″, E 113° 32′ 11.26″
Inscription year: 2005
Inscription criteria: ⅱ, ⅲ, ⅳ, ⅵ


  • Title: Historic Centre of Macao

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