Macau is more than just casinos and gambling. A part of China and also a former Portuguese colony, Macau has a rich blend of history and culture. Taking a stroll along Senado Square is like taking a walk back in time.
As you enter Senado Square, you will find yourself on Lagro de Senado, the main thoroughfare leading to St. Paul’s Ruins. Immediately you are greeted with a large throng of tourists and locals. This, I believe, is an integral part of the Lomo-experience as it can hide the Lomo-locations of Senado Square that you may otherwise miss. So keep your eyes open!
The old-style architecture of the structures in this area stand out and are definitely alluring. When you see a large building with a clock tower, you are now looking at Macau’s Central Post Office.
Walking along, you will come across Casa da Misericórdia or the Holy House of Mercy. This structure was built way back in 1569, which now makes it 441 years old! It used to be a clinic, then it was converted to an orphanage and a shelter for widows of sailors lost at sea.
As you go further, keep your eyes open for the little alleys along the way. These streets are so small that they may not even have names, yet the charm that they posses can leave your fingers tingling to press that shutter. This is also the only time that you will see the Calçada Portuguesa, the traditional Portuguese pavements which was covered by the throng of people in Lagro de Senado.
Half-way through your stroll, you will see Greja de São Domingos (St. Dominic’s Church), the first of two churches that you will see in the area. This church was built by three Dominican priests back in 1587 which makes it 423 years old!
When the roads start to narrow and you start seeing small shops that sell trinkets, kites and Chinese street food, you know you are nearing the finale of your Senado Square experience. But, you have to make a quick stop because you MUST try those Portuguese egg tarts.
Ruínas de São Paulo. Ruínas in English means ruins. St. Paul’s Cathedral is nothing more than a 400-year old facade of what used to be the largest Catholic church in Asia. Back in 1835, a fire destroyed the church and left nothing but its anterior. Still, St. Paul’s ruins is still one of the essential tourist destinations in Macau.
With its rich heritage, 400-year-old structures and Christian churches amidst a predominantly Buddhist country, Senado Square is truly one of Macau’s historical gems.