Category: Heritage @ Macau.

Historic Center of Macau :: Leal Senado Building

Originally built in 1784, this was Macao’s original municipal chamber, a function it maintains to the present. The old Senate is a unique example in Asia, representing the local community’s representation in politics, constituting one of the best testimonies of Macao’s civic administration structure.

The name Leal Seando (Loyal Senate), derives from the title “City of Our Name of God Macao, There is None More Loyal” which was bestowed by Portuguese King D. John IV in 1654, after Portugal regained its independence following 60 years of rule by Spain (1580-1640). During this period, the people of Macao remained loyal to the Portuguese king, who at the time was exiled in Brazil.

The building retains all its original master walls and primary layout, including the courtyard garden in the back, where there are busts of Camilo Pessanha and Luis Vaz de Camoes, Portugal’s National Poet, an elaborate wooden carved convent-style library on the first floor and the building’s ceremonial meeting room, where a small chapel area is also still kept.

The main façade is 14.5 metres high and 44 metres wide and is divided into three sections by vertical granite projections. The central section of the main façade juts out slightly from the rest of the building and is topped by a triangular pediment which, at its highest point, is 17 metres above the ground. Granite Doric columns, supporting lintels made of the same material, flank the main entrance.

French windows in granite casings opening onto balconies with iron railings are the main decorative features of the façade. Inside the building on the first floor there is a ceremonial meeting room that opens onto an elaborate carved library styled after the library of Mafra Convent in Portugal, and a small chapel.

Leal Senado Building is located in the heart of the historic centre of Macao, on Senado Square, where most of the city’s public celebrations, political ceremonies and other important events have always taken place and still do till today.

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Category: Heritage @ Macau