Thursday, February 12, 2009
Like I said, lots of Portuguese influence in the architecture.
The church facade is the remains of St Paul Cathedral - it's Macau's most famous site. It is so strange seeing just the facade of a church when you're used to them being huge, hulking constructions. It was like a movie set.
The statue is of the Portuguese explorer that founded Macau.
The Chinese temple is the temple of A-Ma, who Macau is named after. Legend says that many centuries ago a poor peasant girl was trying to get across the water to Macau. None of the large ship captains would take her or even pay her any mind, but a fisherman in a tiny boat agreed to help her and take her to the island. As the set out a terrible storm blew in and capsized all the large boats, killing everyone on board - only the fisherman's boat made it safely to Macau. The peasant girl (A-Ma) alighted, thanked the fisherman, and walked up the hill where in a flash of light she ascended to heaven. The fisherman built a temple to honor her in that spot.
This temple is clearly more modern than this story; I think it may have been rebuilt.