The Historic Center of Macao, also known as the Centro Histórico de Macau (Chinese: 澳門歷史城區; Portuguese: Centro Histórico de Macau), is a collection of over twenty locations that witness the unique assimilation and co-existence of Chinese and Portuguese cultures in Macau, a former Portuguese colony. It represents the architectural legacies of the city’s cultural heritage, including monuments such as urban squares, streetscapes, churches and temples.
In 2005 the Historic Centre of Macau was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, making it the 31st designated World Heritage site in China. It was described by UNESCO as: “with its historic street, residential, religious and public Portuguese and Chinese buildings, the historic centre of Macao provides a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technological influences from East and West,” and “…it bears witness to one of the earliest and longest-lasting encounters between China and the West, based on the vibrancy of international trade.”
The Historic Centre of Macao is made up of two separated core zones in city center on the Macau peninsula. Each core zone is surrounded by a buffer zone.
Most of the items (buildings) are owned by the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) and managed by various departments or authority. Cultural Institute of the SAR Government manages the Mandarin’s House, the Ruins of St. Paul’s, the Section of the Old Wall, Mount Fortress and Guia Fortress (includes the Lighthouse and Chapel).
Leal Senado Building is managed by the Provisional Municipal Council of Macao while the two government-owned temples, A-Ma Temple and Na Tcha Temple are managed by the Board of A-Ma Temple Charity Association and Management Board of Na Tcha Temple respectively. The Moorish Barracks is managed by the Macao Harbour Administration Building.
The rest of the items are owned and managed by the respective institutions. St. Joseph’s Seminary Building and Church is owned by St. Joseph’s Seminary and managed by the Catholic Diocese of Macao. The Holy House of Mercy Building is owned and managed by Holy House of Mercy Charitable Foundation. Dom Pedro V Theatre is owned and managed by the Management Board of Dom Pedro V Theatre.
The nominated buildings of the Historic Center are protected by various laws, including the Basic Law of the Macao SAR.
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