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Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century. In 1557 Macau was rented to Portugal by the Chinese empire as a trading port. The Portuguese administered the city under Chinese authority and sovereignty until 1887, when Macau became a colony of the Portuguese empire. Sovereignty over Macau was transferred back to China on 20 December 1999.
Panoramic photograph of Macau, taken by Jules Itier in the 19th Century. The city of Macau on its peninsula with both the outer and inner harbours are visible. Also visible are the outlying islands of Taipa, Dom João, Lapa and of Montanha, the latter three then part of Macau, reverting to China after the Japanese Invasion in the Second World War. Coloane and Ilha Verde are the only islands of Macau not visible in this portrait.