Category: Heritage @ Macau.

Site for Indian soldiers

The Moorish Barracks is one of the 22 cultural sites inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005. Built in 1874 on the slope of Barra Hill, this building takes its name from being built to accommodate an Indian regiment from Goa appointed to reinforce Macao’s police force. It is a clear reminder of Macau’s close links with Goa and their links as sister-cities in Portuguese history.

An Italian architect named Cassuto designed the Moorish-style building in 1871 and the construction was completed on August 9, 1874.

However, only two months later, it was almost destroyed by the strongest typhoon that ever hit Macau in September. Some changes to the initial design were added later in the reconstruction.

According to historical records, there were two hundred Indian soldiers stationed in the Macau Moorish Barracks. In 1905, the building became the head offices for Marine and Customs Police and it now houses the Macau Maritime Administration.

The Moorish Barracks is a brick and stone neo-classical structure with Mughal influences, standing on a raised granite platform above the street. To the rear the construction has two floors, while the rest of the building is only one storey high. Spacious 4-metre-wide verandas with pointed archways run along all sides of the building except the one facing Barra Hill.

The arches enhance the surrounding views in what is also a perfect setting in the local climate. The three-tier decorations in between the archways and the arrangement of the square and pointed ornaments on the parapet walls resemble mosaics and have a beautiful, subtle rhythm.
Currently, the building is painted light yellow, with most of the details picked out in white. The huge granite-bearing wall below strikes contrasts with the light painted plaster walls above both in texture and colour.

Category: Heritage @ Macau