Guia Fortress (including Guia Chapel and Lighthouse)
Chinese name: 東望洋炮台&東望洋燈塔& 聖母雪地殿聖堂
Location: On Guia Hill (Colina da Guia), central Macau Peninsular, Macau.
Opening time: 09:00-17:30 (Guia Fortress); 10:00-17:00 Tuesday-Sunday (Guia Chapel).
How to get there: take bus No. 2, 6, 9, 9A, 12, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 28C, 32.
-There is a Guia Cable Car to the top of Guia Hill, which runs from 8am to 6pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Tourist can take it from the entrance of Flora Garden (Jardim da Flora), off Avenida de Sidónio Pais.
-Guia Lighthouse only opens to the public on May 20 each year.
Brief introduction to Guia Fortress, Guia Chapel and Guia Lighthouse
Guia Fortress (Fortaleza da Guia) is an old fortress located at Guia Hill, the highest hill of Macau Peninsular. Built approximately in 1637 and 1638, it is one of extant oldest western-style fortress complex in China. It offers a panoramic view of Macau Peninsular and Historic Center of Macau. As one of eight famous attractions of Macau, it has been inscribed onto the UNESCO’s World Heritage Lists in 2005 as it forms part of Historic Center of Macau. Because it had been an important military base, an air raid shelter was constructed underground, which was transformed into an exhibition corridor in 2003.
On the fort stand the Chapel of Our Lady of Guia and a famous lighthouse.Chapel of Our Lady of Guia on the Guia Fortress was built with granite in 1626. Many precious frescos have been discovered in recent renovation. Those frescos are of high artistic value featuring cultural fusion of East and West. The 15-meter-tall Guia lighthouse by the side of Chapel of Our Lady is the first lighthouse in China coast. It was built in 1895 with white walls and red roof. On clear days, its lighting is visible within 20 km. Markings of typhoon signals given by Weather Bureau of Macau can be found hanging on the Guia Fortress.
History of Guia Fortress
Built approximately in 1637 and 1638, it covers a floor space of 955 square meters. Located on the highest point of Macau, it is responsible for military defense and observation. It had long been regarded as a prohibited military zone. In the past, it allowed people in only on August 5 the birthday of Our Lady, and Double Ninth Festival. It was not until 1976 when the Portuguese Army withdrew from Macau that it was off-limits and converted into a tourist spots. The 52-meter-long Guia Hill Air Raid Shelter contains generators, lounge, oil storage, lift to lighthouse and other equipments. It has been transformed into an exhibition corridor since 2003.