São Francisco Xavier (Coloane)
Saint Francis Xavier
|Special Administrative Region||Macau|
|• Total||7.6 km2 (2.9 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (Macau Standard)|
|São Francisco Xavier Parish|
Coloane (Cantonese: Lou Wan) is an island in Macau that is united with the island of Taipa by an area of reclaimed land known as Cotai. It is located at the southern part of Macau. Administratively, the boundaries of the traditional civil parish (Portuguese: freguesia) of São Francisco Xavier are coterminous with that of Coloane.
Coloane was known in Cantonese as Gau Ou Saan (九澳山 lit. "Nine-inlet Mountain" or transcribed in Portuguese as Ká-Hó) and Yim Jou Waan (鹽灶灣, lit. "Salt-stove Bay"). The Portuguese name "Coloane" is derived from the Cantonese pronunciation of Gwo Lou Waan (過路環, lit. "Passing-road Ring").
Coloane has an area of 8.07 km2 (3 sq mi), is 4 km (2 mi) long and is 5.6 km (3 mi) from the Macau Peninsula. The narrowest part of Coloane is 300 metres (980 ft). The highest points in Macau are eastern and central Coloane, with the highest point being the 170.6 metres (560 ft) Coloane Alto (Chinese: 疊石塘山; Cantonese Yale: Daahpsehk Tòhngsāan, Portuguese: Alto de Coloane).
In the past,[when?] Coloane was separated from Taipa by the Seac Pai Bay, which was crossed by a 2.2 kilometres (1.4 mi) causeway, the Estrada do Istmo, connecting Coloane to Taipa. However land reclamation has[when?] physically connected the two islands and a new area for development called Cotai has been built between Taipa and Coloane, which is home to the Cotai Strip and several other casino projects.
The northern shore of the parish is 4.5 metres (15 ft) deep, and is the site of the Macau Deepwater Port.
The eastern Hac Sa Beach (Chinese: 黑沙海灘; Cantonese Yale: Hāksā Hóitāan, Portuguese: Baía de Hác Sá) and the southern Cheoc Van Bay (Chinese: 竹灣; Cantonese Yale: Jūk wāan, Portuguese: Baía de Cheoc Van) are popular swimming beaches.
From the Song dynasty onwards and until the Portuguese arrival in 1864, Coloane was a sea salt farm for China. After their arrival, the Portuguese made Macau an important trading port, but Coloane remained largely deserted, and was used as a base by pirates until 1910. The island became more populated after the Estrada do Istmo causeway connecting Coloane with Taipa was completed in 1969.
Coloane Village (Portuguese: Vila de Coloane; 路環村; Lùhuáncūn; Louhwàahn Chyūn), located on the southwestern coast of Coloane, is the island's main settlement.
The village centers on Eduardo Marques Square, which is a rectangle paved in cobblestones that are black, white and yellow, laid out in a wavy pattern reminiscent of the sea. The square faces a seaside promenade that traces the channel dividing Macau from the hills of China proper. At the eastern end of the square stands the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier, built in 1928.
A Tam Kung Temple is located at the southern end of Avenida de Cinco de Outubro (十月初五馬路).
Estrada de Lai Chi Vun begins at the intersection Estrada de Seac Pai Van and Estrada do Campo in the north and ends at Largo do Cais in the south. The towering banyan tree at the northern end of the marks the northern entrance to Lai Chi Vun Village (荔枝碗村), whose name is associated with its abundance in lychee trees in the past and its bowl-shaped bay.
The shipyards that once lay beyond the village are nowadays left in disuse. The single-storey business premises of Veng Lok Shipyard and of Association of Shipbuilders of Macao-Taipa-Coloane are located inside the small courtyard to the right of the road atop the hill. All the way down the road to the western side is the one-storey office building of the Customs office of Coloane in Portuguese architectural style.
Coloane Pier, which was once the only entry and exit point of Coloane is located along the waterfront facing Largo do Cais the southern end of the road.
The Lai Chi Vun shipyards are being evaluated to determine whether they meet the MSAR's legal definition of cultural relics. The site is potentially significant because Macau's shipbuilding industry began at the shipyards and because of the formation of a historical village near the area.
Coloane is served by buses and taxis.
Health centres operated by the Macau government in Coloane include Posto de Saúde Coloane (路環衛生站) and Posto de Saúde Provisório de Seac Pai Van de Coloane (路環石排灣臨時衛生站).
Subsidized private schools:
Macao Public Library operates the Coloane Library (Biblioteca de Coloane; 路環圖書館), which occupies 170 square metres (1,800 sq ft) space in the former Coloane Public Elementary School (路環公局市立學校), a Portuguese-style building. In 1983 the building was renovated so it could serve as a library.