Referred to as Fortaleza do Monte or Mount Fortress or Monte Forte, this is the historical military centre of Macau. It is part of the “Historic Centre of Macau”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mount Fortress was originally built in the 16th century the by the Jesuits.
This fort was the city’s principal military defense structure, and was crucial in successfully holding off the attempted Dutch invasion of Macao in 1622. The fortress was equipped with cannons, military barracks, wells and an arsenal that held sufficient ammunition and supplies to endure a siege lasting up to two years. Mount Fortress is built on top of Mount Hill, which rises 52 meters above sea level.
The fortress covers an area of approximately 8,000 square meters, in the shape of a trapezoid. The four corners of the fortress protrude to form bulwarks. The northeastern, south-eastern and south-western walls are built on 3.7-meter-wide granite bases.
The walls are made of solid rammed earth, further strengthened by a thick stucco of ground oyster shells. The walls facing the Chinese Mainland do not have any battlements, indicating that the fortress was built only for defense against attacks from the sea. The design inspired the southern Chinese authorities to start building fortresses of a similar kind to defend their extensive coastline.
Visit this old fort to see a spectacular panoramic view of the city. The tree-covered park offers a nice place to sit and rest and enjoy the view. The Museu de Macau (The Museum of Macau) was built on the hill in the 1990s.