Guia Fortress

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Fortaleza da Guia Lighthouse
Macau - Fortaleza de Guia.JPG
Capela de Nossa Senhora da Guia and Guia Lighthouse at the Guia Fortress.
Guia Fortress is located in Macau
Guia Fortress
Location São Lázaro, Macau, China
Coordinates 22°11′47.4″N 113°32′58.9″E / 22.196500°N 113.549694°E / 22.196500; 113.549694
Year first constructed 1865
Deactivated 1874-1910
Construction concrete-clad stone tower
Tower shape massive cylindrical tower with double balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern white tower, gold trim, red lantern roof
Height 13.5 metres (44 ft)
Focal height 108 metres (354 ft)
Light source mains power
Range 16 nautical miles (30 km; 18 mi)
Characteristic Fl (2) W 10s.
Admiralty number P3416
NGA number 19640
ARLHS number MAC-001
Managing agent Macau Heritage (Guia Fortress)[1][2]
Heritage Portuguese colonial architecture Edit this on Wikidata

The Guia Fortress (Portuguese: Fortaleza da Guia; Chinese: 東望洋炮台) is a 17th-century colonial military fort, chapel, and lighthouse complex in São Lázaro, Macau, China. The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Macau.

Distant view of Guia Hill and Guia Fortress (center left of the picture).


The fort and chapel were constructed between the 1622 and 1638. The fort was already partly built during the unsuccessful attempt by the Netherlands to capture colonial Portuguese Macau from Portugal, providing an advantageous firing position for defending against naval attacks.


The lighthouse was constructed between 1864 and 1865, the first western style lighthouse in east Asia or on the China coast. The lighthouse stands at Guia Hill, which stands at 91.4 metres (300 ft) tall, and has a light visible for some 20 miles in clear weather conditions. The complex was built upon the highest point on Macau, Guia Hill, and named after the same location. Today, the site is a tourist destination.


The chapel (Portuguese: Capela de Nossa Senhora da Guia; Chinese: 聖母雪地殿教堂) was built around 1622 inside the Guia Fortress.

In 1998, frescoes were uncovered in the chapel during routine conservation work, representing both western and Chinese themes.


The view of Guia Fortress is obstructed by the headquarter.
Constructions on the foothill of Guia Hill in 2017.

In 2007, local residents of Macao wrote a letter to UNESCO complaining about construction projects around world heritage Guia Lighthouse (Focal height 108 meters), including the headquarter of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region (91 meters). UNESCO then issued a warning to the Macau government, which led former Chief Executive Edmund Ho to sign a notice regulating height restrictions on buildings around the site[3].

In 2015, the New Macau Association submitted a report to UNESCO claiming that the government had failed to protect Macao's cultural heritage against threats by urban development projects. One of the main examples of the report is that the headquarter of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government, which is located on the Guia foothill and obstructs the view of the Guia Fortress (one of the world heritages symbols of Macao). One year later, Roni Amelan, a spokesman from UNESCO Press service, said that the UNESCO has asked China for information and is still waiting for a reply. [4][3]

In 2016, the Macau government approved an 81-meter construction limit for the residential project, which reportedly goes against the city’s regulations on the height of buildings around world heritage site Guia Lighthouse.[3]

Professor at Stanford University Dr. Ming K.Chan (Chinese: 陳明銶) and professor at University of Macau Dr. Eilo Yu (Chinese: 余永逸) commented the Guia Lighthouse case proved that the Macao government had ignored the conservation of heritage in urban planning.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Macau The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 15 October 2016
  2. ^ NGA List of Lights – Pub.112 Retrieved 15 October 2016
  3. ^ a b c "New Macau alerts UN to construction project near lighthouse". Macau Daily Times. November 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ Meneses, J. (2016). The Victory of Heritage. Macau Business, July 2016, pp.72-73.
  5. ^ YU, Eilo W.Y.; CHAN, Ming K. (2014). China's Macao Transformed: Challenge and Development in the 21st Century. City University of HK Press. p. 316. ISBN 978-9629372071. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°11′47″N 113°33′00″E / 22.1965°N 113.55°E / 22.1965; 113.55