For many centuries Senado Square has been Macau’s urban center, and is still one of the most popular locations for public events and celebrations today. It is where you’ll find the former Senate building (the Leal Senado Building) and the Sam Kai Vui Kun (Kuan Tai Temple), a reminder of the active participation of the local Chinese community in general civic affairs. This area represents a clear multicultural dimension of the Macau community. The square is filled with pastel colored neoclassical buildings and structures of historic value, creating a very Mediterranean atmosphere.
Address: Senado Square
Bus routes nearby: 3, 3X, 4, 6A, 8A, 18A, 19, 26A, 33, N1A
History of Senado Square
Senado Square takes its name after the Leal Senado Building, a meeting place for the Chinese and Portuguese since the 16th century located directly in front of the square. In 1940 a small garden was erected at the center of the square, featuring a bronze statue of Vincente Nicolau de Mesquita, standing above a stone pillar pulling out a sword. The statue was torn down during the 12-3 Riots which took place on December 3rd in Macau in 1966, inspired by the Cultural Revolution in China. The incident was a major historical affair within Macau as tensions rose between the Chinese government and Macau. The statue was pulled down as Mesquita was responsible in past events for the deaths of many Qing dynasty Chinese soldiers. A fountain was built at the site and it stands to this day.
A vast majority of the structures around the square are European style buildings and many are protected monuments. The square once allowed traffic and parking lots were present, but with the increasing number of tourists the entire area was covered over by the Portuguese style of pavement in the early 1990’s and designated a pedestrian-only zone.
Several major events in Macau have been hosted at this location, including festival celebrations, flea markets, and musical performances. The government of Macau also used to inspect their troops here at Senado Square. A number of Hong Kong films have also had scene shot in the square in the 1950s and 1960s.
The 2005 100 patacas note issued by Banco Nacional Ultramarino features the square on its back.
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