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A-Ma Temple

A-Ma Temple

A-Ma Temple, commonly known as Tianhou Temple, was originally built in 1488 (the Ming Dynasty). Inside the temple lie its front door, arch, Shenshan Palace, Hongren Palace, the Temple of the God of Mercy and Zhengjue Buddhist Temple, among which Hongren Palace excavated in a grotto has the longest history. Later, it gained a growing popularity among the worshippers, thus was expanded to cover newly constructed palaces that include the Stone Palace and the Great Hall dedicated to offering sacrifice to the Goddess of Heaven.

The open space in front of A-Ma Temple is remembered as the place where the first Portuguese landed on Macau. It is considered the starting point for cultural exchanges between China and Portugal because of the previous historical connection. The Portuguese-style gravels paved in front of the temple are in a striking contrast to the Chinese-style A-Ma Temple, which indeed embodies the oneness of Chinese and western cultures. Given this, you really have to take some pictures for you to keep a record of the trip.

Entering the temple, you can draw divine lots that might tell you your luck and buy a talisman; meanwhile, you can appreciate the stone-carvings scatter inside the temple. The stone-carvings, being the small or the big ones, are engraved with words inscribed by men of letters and refined scholars over centuries of history. It’s estimated that there are altogether 30 stone-carvings inside the temple. If you go back to the right side of the front door, you will find a 400-year-old stone engraved with the pattern of an ancient sailing map. You’ll have to pass a circular stone arch if you want to go to the middle of the mountain. Legend has it that you may find the love of your life if you touch the top of the arch.

The Maritime Museum just lies in the opposite side of the temple. It demonstrates the close relationship between Macau’s history and the sea in a vivid way, while introducing both China’s and Portugal’ maritime histories. It takes less than 3 minutes to go from the temple to the museum. Moreover, several Portuguese restaurants are awaiting your arrival. Visiting Chinese traditional temples and then enjoying sumptuous Portuguese dishes will allow you to experience the blending of Chinese and western cultures.