A-Ma Temple one of the landmarks of Macau, situated on the southwest tip of the Macau Peninsula. This temple is one of the sites designated "Historic Centre of Macau", which was enlisted on the World Heritage List in 2005.
Its history has a daily significance to Macau. Approximately four hundred years ago the Portuguese landed on a peninsula near a temple. They asked the local inhabitants the name of the land, but the locals misunderstood, thinking that the Portuguese were asking for the name of the temple.
So they answered 'Ma Ge', which was the name of the temple. Later, the Portuguese translated the named into 'Macau' and used it to refer to the land. In actuality, this temple is one of the three famous Buddha halls in Macau- the A-Ma Temple.
The A-Ma Temple, located in the southeast of the Macau Peninsula, is the oldest temple in Macau. It was constructed in 1488 of the Ming Dynasty to commemorate Mazu, the sacred sea goddess who blesses the fishermen of Macau.
It is said that the goddess was called Lin Mo, and that she was more intelligent than other children her age. She could predict good or ill luck and after her death she often helped merchants and fishermen ward off calamities and turn danger into safety. Now there are a number of folktales about the great goddess.
When you visit the A-Ma Temple you’ll find silence and spectacular views. The temple contains six main parts, all of which make up a series of classical Chinese architectural treasures. The entrance is guarded by stone lions.
Entering the temple and going across a gateway, you will reach the Hongren Hall by a winding path. A statue of Mazu is found here, and it is believed that the hall has the longest history in the complex. Continue moving forward until you get to the Hall of Avalokitesvara. The Zhengjiao Chanlin is a Buddhist hall.
The temple showcases the rich and profound Chinese culture. It is worth your while to stay and enjoy the various poems and inscriptions carved on the stone along the cliff. Furthermore, each year, on the days of the birthday of Mazu and the Chinese New Year, many male and female disciples gather here. They burn incense to pay homage and pray for good fortune.