Monte Fort is an almost-400-year-old, 100-by-100-meter stone fort, with superb sunset and casino views from the top.
Together with Macau Museum inside, Monte Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is generally considered the premier historical attraction for tourists in Macau.
The top battlements on the 9-meter-high walls are a great place to see the shimmering casino lights of mainland Macau and the colors of sunset. If the weather is right, the scenery is quite beautiful at dusk.
Monte Fort stands out as the best preserved and large European construction of its age in East Asia. It is ranked 12 on TripAdvisor Things to Do in 2016. In it is the Macau Museum, Macau's best museum, that is interesting and quite popular in its own right.
Monte Fort was built by the Jesuits between 1617 and 1626. Walls enclosed quarters for soldiers and storehouses. Large cannons were set along the top battlements.
The fort was designed to survive a two-year siege, but the cannons were used in battle only twice. It is said that a miraculous shot fired accidentally by a monk hit a Dutch ammunition ship. The resulting explosions damaged the nearly victorious Dutch fleet so badly that they retreated.
It remained a military base until 1965 when a weather station was built there. The weather station building was removed by the then Macau Government between 1996 and 1998 and replaced with today's Macau Museum.
An integral part of the fort is the government supported Macau Museum that is the official museum about Macau's history and present development. Three floors of exhibits that are divided by time periods afford a place that both adults and children can enjoy for about an hour or so.
It sits in the grassy park on top of the fort. There is an escalator that can take you to the museum. You'll see it as you walk the path up. Ranked 8 of the top Things to Do on TripAdvisor in 2016.
Suggested Scenic Walk to the Fort
The fort, the remains of St. Paul's, and the Senado Square are part of the Historic Center of Macau UNESCO World Heritage site.
Heritage walk: You could take a half-kilometer walk from Largo do Senado Square on San Ma Lo Street and see the main attractions of the World Heritage sites during your walk and the local scenery, and you could visit the tourist shops along the way.
Walk east 50 meters from the front of Saint Dominic's Church, and turn left at the first corner. Walk north 100 meters, and you'll reach a narrower road called the Rua de San Paulo. Follow that northwards about 250 meters, and you'll reach the Commercial and Tourist Center building. St. Paul's is behind it.
See the remains of St. Paul's Cathedral (1627), and then walk up all the stairs to the top or take the escalator to the museum.
How to Get There
The fort can be reached via...
Public and Private Buses to Senado
Hotel bus: There are public and private buses available to Senado where you can start your walk up. From the Macau Ferry Terminal, we suggest you can simply catch a free Grand Lisboa shuttle that will take you to the hotel directly. These park in a hotel bus parking lot that is across the street from the terminal building. From there, walk 10 minutes to Senado Square that is along Av. De Almeida Ribeiro (San Ma Lo Avenue).
Public bus: From the Macau Ferry Terminal, 3, 3A, 10, and 10A go to Senado. It is easy to find. The small bus stop is just outside the ferry terminal building and about 25 meters to the right of the main exit. The price is about 3 MOP.
Taxi to St. Paul's Ruins
Taxi: You can go almost directly to the fort by taxi and be dropped off at place behind the Ruins of St. Paul. From the Macau Ferry Terminal, the price is about 30 to 34 MOP.
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