Portas do Cerco

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Portas do Cerco
Portas do Cerco (Macau).jpg
The Portas do Cerco in 2007
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 關閘
Simplified Chinese 关闸
Literal meaning border gate
Portuguese name
Portuguese Portas do Cerco

The Portas do Cerco is an area in Nossa Senhora de Fátima, Macau, China. It is located on the northern tip of the Macau Peninsula known by its border gate separating Macau from Mainland China. The gate was built in 1849 to replace a crumbling wall that was erected in 1573 to mark the border of the Portuguese colony.[1][2] It was the site of the Baishaling Incident, a clash between Qing dynasty and Kingdom of Portugal in 1849 over the death of Macau's governor Ferreira do Amaral. Led by Colonel Mesquita, Portugal won the small battle which led to the extension of Macau's border northwards.[3] At the limit of said expansion, the Portas do Cerco was built with the inscription "A pátria honrai, que a pátria vos contempla" (Portuguese for "Honor your motherland, for your motherland looks over you") on the façade on its inner arch in 1849. For the next 155 years, the gate served as the border between Macau and China.

Macau, now a special administrative region of China, still has an official border with Zhuhai in mainland China a few meters behind the old barrier gate. The new Posto Fronteiriço das Portas do Cerco (border gate border building) was opened on January 15, 2004.


Chinese encampment outside the Barrier Gate on Zhongshan Island, by Auguste Borget (published 1842)

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.[4] It was the site of the Battle of the Barrier between British and Chinese forces on August 19, 1840.

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.[5] 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.[6]




  • 2, 3A, 5, 9, 9A, 28C, 34, AP1


  • 10, 10B, 17, 18, 25, 30, AP1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fodor, Eugene; Fisher, Robert C. (1962). Fodor's Japan and East Asia. p. 512.
  2. ^ Garrett, Richard J. (2010). The Defences of Macau: Forts, Ships and Weapons Over 450 Years. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. pp. 18–19. ISBN 9888028499.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Wordie, Jason (2013). "1. Portas do Cerco". Macao - People and Places, Past and Present. Hong Kong: Angsana Limited. p. 2. ISBN 978-988-12696-0-7. 
  5. ^ Wordie, Jason (2013). "1. Portas do Cerco". Macao - People and Places, Past and Present. Hong Kong: Angsana Limited. pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-988-12696-0-7. 
  6. ^ "Macao Portuguese Fire Over Border". The West Australian. Perth: Perth, W. A. : A. Davidson, for the West Australian, 1879. 1952-07-31. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°12′53″N 113°32′56″E / 22.2147°N 113.5488°E / 22.2147; 113.5488