Portas do Cerco is an area on the northern tip of the Macau Peninsula known by its border gate built in 1849, after a clash between China and Portugal over the death of Macau's governor Ferreira do Amaral. This small battle won for Portugal by Coronel Mesquita led to the extension of Macau northwards by the Portuguese. At the limit of said expansion the historic Portas do Cerco were built with the inscription "A pátria honrai, que a pátria vos contempla" (Portuguese for: "Take care of your motherland, for your motherland looks over you") on the façade, and 1849 on its inner arch. For the next 155 years the gate would serve as the border between Macau and Canton.
The first formalised border crossing was built in 1573, which was subsequently repaired and rebuilt several times until the present border gate was erected in 1870.
During the 1950s and 1960s the Portas do Cerco was also referred to as Far Eastern Checkpoint Charlie with a major border incident happening in 1952 with Portuguese African Troops exchanging fire with Chinese Communist border guards. According to reports, the exchange lasted for 1-and-three-quarter hours leaving one dead and several dozens injured on Macau side and more than 100 casualties claimed on the Communist Chinese side.