|Portuguese||Península de Macau|
The Macau Peninsula is the most populous and historical part of Macau. It has an area of 8.5 square kilometers (3.3 sq mi) (4 by 1.8 kilometers (2.5 mi × 1.1 mi)) and is geographically connected to Guangdong Province at the northeast through an isthmus 200 meters (660 ft) wide. The peninsula, together with downtown Zhuhai, sits on an island separated from the continent by distributaries of the Pearl River. The Border Gate (Chinese: 關閘; Portuguese: Portas do Cerco) was built on the northern isthmus. At the south, the peninsula is connected to Taipa Island by three bridges, the Friendship Bridge (Ponte de Amizade); the Macau-Taipa Bridge (Ponte Governador Nobre de Carvalho); and the Sai Van Bridge (Ponte de Sai Van). The longest axis extends 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) from the Border Gate to the southwestern edge, Barra (媽閣嘴). There is a western "Inner Harbor" (內港) paralleled by an "Outer Harbor" (外港) to the east. The 93 meters (305 ft) Guia Hill (松山) is the highest point on the peninsula, which has an average elevation of 50 to 75 meters (164 to 246 ft). Many coastal places are reclaimed from the sea. The Historic Centre of Macau, which is entirely on the Macau Peninsula, became a World Heritage Site in 2005.
In 1513, a Portuguese explorer, Jorge Álvares, arrived in the Pearl River Delta, in the Shenzhen area, which he called Tamão. A Portuguese settlement was started here and by 1535 the traders were allowed to anchor their ships in the Macau harbour. In 1887, the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking was signed, allowing "the perpetual occupation and government of Macau by Portugal".
According to National Geographic, "Macau may never have existed if not for Tamão" where the Portuguese learned "how China, the Pearl River Delta, and the South China Sea worked". The settlement and Jorge Álvares "kickstarted a chain of events that ultimately spawned Macau". A large stone sculpture of Álvares still stands in downtown Macau.
The peninsula corresponds to the historical Municipality of Macau, one of Macau's two municipalities that were abolished on 31 December 2001 by Law No. 17/2001, following the 1999 transfer of sovereignty over Macau from Portugal to China.
This municipality was divided into five parishes (freguesia), and while their administrative functions have since been voided, these parishes are still retained nominally.
|Freguesia / Parish||2013 Area (km²)||2013 Area (mi²)||2013 Population||Density (/km²)||Density (/mi²)|
|Nossa Senhora de Fátima (花地瑪)||3.2||1.2||237,500||74,218||197,917|
|Santo António (花王 / 聖安多尼)||1.1||0.4||129,800||118,000||324,500|
|São Lázaro (望德)||0.6||0.2||33,100||55,166||165,500|
|São Lourenço (風順 / 聖老愣佐)||1.0||0.4||51,700||51,700||129,250|