Weather :

Timings : Fort: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Macao Museum: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Closed on Monday

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Monte Fort, Macau Overview

Monte Fort, also known as the Fortaleza do Monte or the Mount Fortress, is a 400-year-old fort located next to St Paul's Ruins in Macau, China. It is one of the most iconic tourist destinations and a historical military centre in Macau. The highlight of Monte Fort is the dazzling sunset and casino view.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site also house the Macau Museum in its premise, which is considered as one of the best museums in Macau. Spread over an area of 8,000 square meters, the former fortress was burned down in a large fire, leaving only the main facade and the platform.

Monte Fort forms part of the Historic Centre of Macau and is lauded as the best-preserved and large European construction of its age in East Asia. Filled with lush greenery, Fortaleza De Monte attracts tourists who are interested in history, defence, and photography.

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Macau Museum

The Macau Museum, located at the Monte Forte, is one of the best and must-visit museums in Macau. It has a total of three floors, two of which are located underground at the fort and the third floor located at the upper most floor. The Macau Museum brilliantly shows various developments that have happened in Macau over time in various aspects.

On the three levels of the museum, one can witness three different types of permanent exhibitions which are open for the public. The first floor i.e. ‘The Genesis of Macau Region’ displays the history of Macau and how it emerged as a commercial centre and its religious and cultural development as witnessed and encouraged by two different types of civilizations.

The second floor called the ‘Popular Arts and Traditions in Macau’ has an exhibition of different types of arts and traditions that have been nurtured in Macau. There are several painting and artifacts, along with many works displaying the traditional rituals and ceremonies.

The third floor of the museum – ‘Contemporary Macau’ is dedicated to its city life. This part of the museum displays several important aspects of literature and contemporary art in Macau.

Layout of Monte Fort

  • The Monte Fort is built near the ruins of St. Paul’s, which are nothing but the ruined walls of the fort itself.
  • The fort is in the shape of a quadrilateral but is also irregular in its architecture.
  • It is also known as China’s first fort which was built using the Western style of Architecture.
  • The corridors of the fort are built in European style.
  • It also features a huge area of land covered with grass and very old trees.

Historical Significance

The Monte Fort was built during the years 1617 to 1627 by the Portuguese Jesuits. The main purpose of this fort was to protect the Jesuits and their property from the assaults of the pirates. The fort was surrounded with 32 cannons to protect itself and the Jesuits. The cannons in history of Macau were only used once in 1622 to evade the Dutch invasion and were proved to be sturdy and successful instruments of defense, however, after 1622 they were never used again.

The Monte Fort was a military centre after the Portuguese governor general took over it till 1965. After which it was converted into a weather observatory and was opened to the general public for the first time. In 1998, the weather observatory was closed down and the Macau Museum was opened instead, making Monte Fort one of the Macau’s most famous tourist destinations. The fort has also hosted the ‘Macau International Music Festival’ many times throughout the years.

How to Reach Fortaleza Do Monte

  • There are two kinds of buses to take visitors to the Mount Fortress or Monte Forte. The easier option for travellers is to take a free shuttle bus to the famous Grand Lisboa hotel either from Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal or from Taipa Ferry Terminal, both of which are within 5-10 minutes distance from the Macau International Airport and are major transportation centres of the province. From the parking lot of Grand Lisboa, Senado Square is just a 10-minute walk away along the Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro (San Ma Lo Avenue).
  • Another way is to take the public bus from the bus stop at Macau Ferry Terminal. Routes 3, 3A, 10, 10A and 26A go straight to Senado, while 8A, 17, 18A, 18B, 19 and 26 go to Kiang Wu Hospital which is 2 kilometres away from Senado. One can either walk the distance or take a cab. The bus fare is approximately MOP 3. From Senado, the Heritage Walk leads the visitors up to Mount Fortress. 
Tourists can hail a taxi from anywhere in the city to be dropped off right in front of Mount Fortress if walking is not a favourable option. The dropoff point for taxis is behind the Ruins of St. Paul, which lies just west of Monte Forte. The fare from Macau Ferry Terminal is about MOP 30-35, while from the airport, it could be approximately MOP 80-90.

Need to Know

  • The Macau Museum is wheelchair accessible
  • Washroom facilities and food stalls are available at the fort

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