A-Ma Temple

Coordinates: 22°11′10″N 113°31′52.10″E / 22.18611°N 113.5311389°E / 22.18611; 113.5311389
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A-Ma Temple
A-Ma Temple, Macau
General information
LocationSão Lourenço
Town or cityMacau
A-Ma Temple
Main Hall
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese妈阁庙
Literal meaningTemple of the Pavilion of the Mother
Portuguese name
PortugueseTemplo de A-Má

The A-Ma Temple is a temple to the Chinese sea-goddess Mazu located in São Lourenço, Macau, China. Built in 1488, the temple is one of the oldest in Macau and thought to be the settlement's namesake.


A 19th-century painting of the facade of A-Ma Temple by English architect and artist Thomas Allom.

The name Macau was thought to be derived from the name of the temple. It is said that when the Portuguese sailors landed at the coast just outside the temple and asked the name of the place, the natives replied Maa-gok or A-maa-gok (lit. "The Pavilion of the Mother"). The Portuguese then named the peninsula "Macau".[1] The temple was well described in ancient Chinese texts as well as represented in paintings, related to Macao. It is also one of the first scenes photographed in Macao.

In 2005, the temple became one of the designated sites of the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The temple consists of six main parts:[2] Gate Pavilion, the Memorial Arch, the Prayer Hall, the Hall of Benevolence (the oldest part of the temple), the Hall of Guanyin, Zhengjiao Chanlin - Buddhist Pavilion.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hakka and Macau" (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 13 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
  2. ^ "A-Ma Temple". Wondermondo. 14 November 2014.

22°11′10″N 113°31′52.10″E / 22.18611°N 113.5311389°E / 22.18611; 113.5311389