22°11′53″N 113°32′50″E / 22.1980°N 113.5473°E / 22.1980; 113.5473

Macau Peninsula
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese澳門半島
Simplified Chinese澳门半岛
JyutpingOu3mun2 Bun3dou2
Portuguese name
PortuguesePenínsula de Macau

The Macau Peninsula is the historical and most populous 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 da 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.

Early history

In 1513, Portuguese explorer Jorge Álvares arrived in the Pearl River Delta, in the Shenzhen area, which he called Tamão. A Portuguese settlement was started there 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".[1]

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.[2] 


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.[3]

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)[4] 2013 Area (mi²) 2013 Population[5] 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
(大) 3.4 1.3 52,200 15,352 40,154
São Lourenço (風順 / 聖老愣佐) 1.0 0.4 51,700 51,700 129,250
Total 9.3 3.6 504,300 54,226 140,083

See also


  1. ^ "The Origin of the Macao Question and Sino-Portuguese Negotiations for the Settlement of the Question". Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  2. ^ "The long lost city of Tamão is hiding in plain sight". Archived from the original on March 15, 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Centre of Macao". Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Estatístico: Área de solos das freguesias". Direcção dos Serviços de Cartografia e Cadastro de Macau. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Estatísticas: Demográficas e Estimativas da População". Direcção dos Serviços de Estatística e Censos de Macau. Retrieved 27 October 2014.

Media related to Macau Peninsula at Wikimedia Commons Macau/Peninsula travel guide from Wikivoyage