Originally built in 1616 AD, Monte Fort is one of China’s oldest Western-style forts. Initially owned by the church, it was built to protect the clergy of St. Paul's Cathedral and guard against pirates, but subsequently turned into a district of military facilities. In the past, the fort stood high in the center of Macau, acting as a strategic point and functioning to defend the city.
The old cannons placed in the fort played an important role in fighting against the Dutch invasion in 1622. Monte Fort was once the Governor General's official residence. Unfortunately, in the year of 1835, a conflagration destroyed all the structures in Monte Fort and the College of St. Paul. Consequently, what was left behind was its anterior wall, which is known as today’s Ruins of St. Paul.
A garden encompassed by green grasses and ancient trees has been built in the open space of Monte Fort, with the old cannons nestling by its side. As people overlook the panoramic view of Macau and the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral here, it is a great resort for local residents and tourists to visit.
In the past, there erected a Southern-European-style structure in the fort, which served as a barrack and later changed to a local observatory. In 1998 the three-story Macau Museum was completed, where the city’s hundred years of history vividly presented to the visitors through its items on display. In the museum, visitors are able to experience directly the peaceful coexistence between many ethnic groups in Macau, the city’s historical evolvement and contemporary local life-style as well as local people’s hopes for a better future.
A corridor featuring both European-style and modernity is located at the foot of a hill facing the eastern side of Monte Fort, serving as an intermediate station for the visitors who want to walk from St. Lazarus Church to the scenic areas around Monte Fort, including Macau Museum. Modernity and historical heritages are well-integrated given that Monte Fort is next to the busiest commercial areas of Macau. The annual grand event, the “Macau International Music Festival,” has been repeatedly held there.
Standing by the side of Ruins of St. Paul, Monte Fort is referred to as St. Paul's Fort, Central Cannon or St. Paul’s Cannon. Built from 1617 to 1626, it was originally a part of the College of St. Paul and St. Paul's Cathedral.
Monte Fort scenic spot area was listed as a world heritage in 2005, becoming China’s 31st world heritage.
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