7 marks of Lisbon in Macau? Yes, getLISBON travelled all the way to the East and decided to sort of reverse an article we’ve previously published that connects these two cities…
Previously in 7 Marks of Macau in Lisbon we briefly approached the historic connection between Macau and Portugal and we identified several places in the city of the seven hills where we can find references to the former territory under Portuguese administration.
We’ve reversed things in this article.
The 7 Selected Marks of Lisbon in Macau
In December 22, 2019 were celebrated 20 years since Macau’s sovereignty was transferred from Portugal to China.
After these years the Portuguese roots remain visible all around the city through architecture, toponymy, gastronomy…
In this article we want to share with you marks of Lisbon in Macau. From the ones we’ve selected, some of them have arised recently while others bring us back to a more distant story. Nevertheless, all of them are particularities you’ll enjoy knowing more about.
Just like in Lisbon, we can also find a tribute to the famous poet Luís de Camões (1524-1580) from the 19th century.
The monument is located in a public garden named after him, one of the oldest in Macau. This garden was owned by the Portuguese merchant Lourenço Marques, and created in mid-18th century as an annexe to his mansion.
To praise the work of this great poet that supposedly wrote part of Lusíadas in this faraway place in the East, was ordered a bust in his memory. According to the available information the first monument dates 1840 but for several reasons, it has been replaced throughout the time.
The current monument is the fourth and is composed by a set of faceted rocks: a horizontal rock that is laying on two vertical ones, forming a cave that safeguards a pedestal with the bronze bust of Luís de Camões. This bust was produced in 1861 by Manuel Maria Bordalo Pinheiro (1815-1880), father of the renowned artist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro.
On the pedestal are engraved excerpts of Lusíadas. In the front the stanzas 1, 2 and 3 of Canto I and in the back the stanzas 92, 42 and 81 of Cantos VI, VIII and VII, respectively.
Raid Lisboa-Macau 1924
On April 7, 1924 a dangerous adventure began, the Raid Lisboa-Macau, a feat of over 16000 km flying.
This event was carried over by the military aviators Brito Paes and Sarmento de Beires, who were joined by the mechanical engineer Manuel Gouveia in Tunis.
They departed from Portugal in a vehicle named “Pátria” (Homeland) and after the aircraft was damaged upon landing in India, another one was provided to them. Named “Pátria II” it allowed to achieve their goal on June 20 of the same year.
This second aircraft, only having a maximum capacity of two people forced Manuel Gouveia to continue the journey by land. However, this didn’t restrain the three protagonists of becoming part of the world aeronautical history.
In 1987, in order to commemorate this feat and with the sponsorship of Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas, a new voyage was carried over but this time from Sagres (in the south of Portugal) to Macau.
The three Portuguese protagonists were: the two pilots Jorge Cruz and Arnaldo Leal and the engineer Álvaro Prata Mendes. After crossing the Middle East, India and Hong Kong they successfully landed in Coloane Island, Macau.
Today the aircraft “Sagres”, part of this tribute, can be seen in Seac Pai Van Park in Coloane and is one of the marks of Lisbon in Macau chosen by us.
This is a hotel-casino built in 1970, considered the first luxury hotel in Macau. We can see that there’s a fusion between Eastern and Western styles.
Hotel Lisbon features very peculiar aspects that has since always instigated interpretations connected to geomancy and feng shui. The experts in this topic claim that every detail of this hotel was thought of following the precepts of the millennial Chinese art that studies the influence of the space in the well being of people.
There are other elements associated to beliefs or superstition, such as the suggestion that the main entrance represents a bat with an open mouth and spread wings. In the East this is an animal that brings happiness, success and prosperity due to the homophony in Chinese of the word “happiness”.
Another curiosity is the fact that the exterior of the buildings that constitute this hotel have a decoration that seems like a sort of an open chain. Its purpose is to retain the gamblers but without taking away their freedom to leave, replenish and restart the new cycle of gambling.
In addition to the name of the hotel being Lisboa, we can find other elements that bring us to Portugal, such as the outstanding carracks and caravels that we can see in the dome of the lobby of the main entrance.
Another curious fact is that its brand image features the symbol of the city of Lisbon itself, the boat with two crows facing each other.
Pastel de Nata
One of the positive consequences of the extinction of the religious orders carried over in Portugal in 1834 was the disclosure of the recipes of sweets produced in the convents. This gave rise to small neighbourhood businesses that little by little spread across the city, country and world.
This is the case of the recipe of the pastéis de nata (egg custard tart), originally from Jerónimos Monastery, that today we can find many different interpretations of in many places around the world.
Macau had a fundamental role in its diffusion in Asia, from Hong Kong to Taiwan, being known as Portuguese egg tarts.
Andrew Stow, an Englishman living in Macau, developed his own recipe in 1990. From then on it gained visibility and today the pastéis de nata have become a phenomenon.
Even though you can find them in many pastry shops in the city, tourists can’t miss to try these tarts, even when there’s long lines in the most famous pastry shop, funnily enough the one of Stow’s ex-wife.
The pastéis de nata of Macau are delicious but getLISBON stays loyal to the Lisbon ones. 😉
The Portuguese pavement only appeared in Macau in 1993 when the first project in Largo do Senado was implemented. The intent was probably to leave another Portuguese mark before the transition of the sovereignty of the territory.
In a few decades Macau became most likely one of the places outside of Portugal where you can see the most exemplars of this magnificent pavement. A peculiar art born in Lisbon that embellishes streets and squares with fantastic stone patterns.
The large number of streets with Portuguese pavement and the development of this art in Macau led to the emergence of an own identity. We can find motifs inspired in the East, such as Chinese characters, flowers, juncus or even auspicious figures related to the local culture and to feng shui, such as fish, seahorses, butterflies…
In this picture we can see a tiny star, a design that among many other curious secrets in the Portuguese pavement is many times interpreted as a signature from the pavers.
What might have been the reason behind this one?
The Grande Praça of Hotel MGM
Inside this modern and luxurious resort inaugurated in 2007, there’s an ample area of 1088 square metres with a glass ceiling and surrounded by 25-metres tall buildings called Grande Praça (directly translated to “Big Square”).
It was inspired by Europe, exalting and paying homage to the historic past of Macau and its connection to Portugal. Among the façades of the buildings we can find reproductions of emblematic monuments of Lisbon, such as the Rossio Railway Station, Casa dos Bicos or even of the Rua Augusta Arch.
The Portuguese pavement in this space was inspired in the pattern “Mar Largo” (directly translated to “Large Sea”) of Rossio Square in Lisbon from 1848.
Additionally, it is currently possible to admire the monumental work of the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, Valkyrie Octopus from the series Valquírias.
Produced in 2015 for this square, this work features techniques such as crochet and Nisa embroidery and is composed by fabrics of different origins. The beautiful light effect of this piece is produced by thousands of incorporated LEDs.
Popular Marches of Lisbon in the Celebration of the Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is the biggest festivity in the East and naturally in Macau too. In addition to being decorated with flowers, tiny tangerine trees loaded with fruit, red lanterns and festive lights, the city organises many commemorative activities throughout several days including firework shows.
Since 2013 that the population can watch two sessions of the Parade of the Chinese New Year in different days and places. This parade features allegorical cars and the participation of recreative associations, which attracts a large audience, especially tourists.
The Popular Marches of Lisbon started integrating these parades in 2014 along with local and foreign artistic groups.
The Alfama March, the winner of many editions was the first to represent Lisbon in this festivity, being present in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2019. In 2018 the runner-up in the Popular Marches of Lisbon 2017, the Bairro Alto March, joined the event.
The Alto da Pina March participated in 2016 but unfortunately this year (2020) wasn’t able to relive this fantastic experience due to the cancellation of all celebration activities in order to decrease the risk of propagation of the viral pneumonia.
Unfortunately getLISBON finished its trip to the East without capturing pictures of the Alto da Pina March in the Parade of the Celebration of the Chinese New Year, one of the 7 marks of Lisbon in Macau that we’ve selected for you.
We hope luck will be on our side in the next opportunity. 😉