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Senado Square - a part of the Historic Centre of Macau (Macao)
- a part of the Historic Centre of Macau (Macao)
The Historic Centre of Macau, with its historic street, residential, religious and public Portuguese and Chinese buildings, provides a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technological influences from East and West. It was successfully inscribed as a World Heritage Site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in July 2005. The Historic Centre comprises of 8 Squares and 22 historic buildings.
Senado Square, also known as Largo do Senado or Senate Square, is a part of the “Historic Centre of Macau”. In official records, it is called by the name of Avenida de Almedia Ribeiro.
The Square has the largest conjunction of streets, covering an area of 3200 square kilometers. With its passage through the old “Christian quarter” and “Chinatown”, it is a splendid blend of Chinese and Portuguese cultural traits. From the main road to the St Dominic’s Church, the pavement extends to the ruins of St Paul’s.
Rich architectural tradition can be seen in its surroundings – St Dominic’s Church, the Holy House of Mercy, Leal Senado Building and Sam Kai Vui KunTemple – a cultural exchange of East and West.
The Senado Square is a pedestrian paradise with cobblestone streets, well decorated and paved with a wave-patterned mosaic of colored stones. It is surrounded by pastel-colored neo-classical buildings. An elegant fountain, space for public events, trees, benches and cafes can be seen along the way.
It is the popular venue for a number of celebrations, including public and religious festivals in Macau.
Shopping and famous snacks at the Senado Square
Senado Square is the location of one of the newest and best municipal markets, surrounded by several blocks of bustling street stalls. In the narrow streets leading off the main square, a great variety of of goods can be found. A number of fashion boutiques are also situated here.
A good selection of authentic local food and international cuisines are also available.
The most popular souvenirs of Macau are not tourist trinkets but the local snacks, especially the pastries. Feature below are some of the popular speciality products of Macau.
(1) Portuguese Egg Tarts
Different from the egg tarts found in Cantonese dim sum restaurants. The Macau’s version has a buttery flaky pastry shell with a custard filling and a crispy caramelized sugar shell. Best to eat one fresh from the oven.
(Although such tarts can be found at Senado Square., the most famous are those from Lord Stow’s Bakery in Coloane Village and the Margaret’s Café near the Grand Emperor Hotel and Grand Lisboa Hotel in Macau peninsula.)
(2) Almond Biscuits (also called almond cake or almond cookie)
A famous Macanese snack, the original almond biscuits are small with no filling. It is also crunchy, sometimes crumbling on first bite. Different versions of the almond biscuits are now available.
As it is one of the most popular pastries in Macau, the almond biscuits can be found in many stalls at the Senado Square. Koi Kei and Choi Heong Yuen are some of the famous brands for almond cookies.
(3) Pork Chop Buns
One of the most famous and popular snacks in Macau. Consists of a sizzling hot deep-fried or pan-fried pork chop sandwiched into a white bun. Crispy on the outside and yet very soft on the inside, with no other further condiments or dressings.
(Such buns are available at Senado Square. However, the pork chop buns at Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei at Taipa is a must-try for all tourists to Macau. The pork chop buns at this cafe are only sold from 3.00 pm onwards and usually sold out by 5.00 pm.)
(4) Peanuts candy – come in either white sesame coating or black sesame coating. Koi Kei is one of the famous brands for such candy sweets.
Senado Square are packed with bustling street stalls selling above specialities, as well as other kinds of pastries, cookies, egg rolls, ginger candy, sweet snacks, milk-based puddings and desserts, etc.
Nightlife in Macau
Apart from 24-hour casinos, the nightlife in Macau has its best flamboyance at the Senado Square. The many winding streets close to Senado Square are homes to numerous restaurants, bars, and cafes.
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