Historic Center of Macau
With buildings of oriental and western styles existing together, the Historical Centre of Macau is so far the most ancient, the largest, and the most well-preserved historical site in China. Inside the historical centre, there are ruins of the most ancient churches and monasteries, the most ancient Christian burial ground and western emplacement, the first western theater, the first modern lighthouse and the first western university. Altogether there are more than 20 historical sites in the historical centre, including the Ama Temple, Monte Fortress, St. Dominic’s Church and so on.
As the first occupied territory established by European countries in East Asia, the historical centre is the witness of the communication between the western culture and Chinese culture in Macau for more than 400 years. Because of the Chinese and western cultural exchanges, most of the buildings there are endowed with fusional cultural characteristics.
The comments from the World Heritage Committee are as follows: the Historical Centre of Macau is the witness of the development of the western religious culture in Far East regions, and the historical origin of Chinese folk religions, which were then introduced to the western world; and it is the comprehensive integration of Chinese and western architectural styles.
Therefore, this historical centre is the earliest and the most important place that received the most western relics and cultures in China. At the same time, it is the first stop for western architectural styles to be introduced into China in modern times. For this reason, in the 29th World Heritage Committee Meeting, which was held in South African in July 15, 2005, the Historical Center of Macau was added into the World Heritage List.