Lighthouses of China: Macau

Macau is a territory on the south coast of China, directly across the Pearl River (Zhu Jiang) estuary from Hong Kong. Like Hong Kong, Macau is a special administrative region (SAR) of China, separate from the surrounding Guangdong Province. The territory includes the tip of the Macau Peninsula and two islands, Taipa and Coloane, which have been joined by fill.

Settled by Portugal in 1557, Macau was the both the first and the last European colony in China. It remained under Portuguese control until it was returned to China in December 1999.

Aids to navigation in Macau are maintained by the Macau SAR Marine and Water Bureau.

Macau has an international airport and is also accessible by high-speed ferries from Hong Kong.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. NGA numbers are from NGA Publication 112.

General Sources
Lighthouses in Macau
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Leuchttürme Chinas auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.


Guia Light, Macau, January 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Adrian Furby

Lighthouse
*
Guia (Fortaleza da Guia, Dongwangyang)
1865. Reactivated (inactive 1874-1910); focal plane 108 m (354 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 13.5 m (44 ft) round tapered concrete-clad stone tower with lantern and double gallery. Lighthouse painted white with gold trim; lantern roof painted red. Adrian Furby's photo is above, a 2008 closeup is available, the Macau Cultural Affairs Bureau has a large portfolio of photos, Portuguese Wikipedia has an article on the lighthouse with several good photos, Wikimedia has additional photos, Lighthouse Explorer has a photo by Xavier Leroy, and Google has a satellite view. Huelse has a historic postcard view showing a very different lantern structure. One of the world's great lighthouses, the Portuguese Farol da Guia was the first western-style lighthouse built in China. However, after only nine years of operation, it was damaged by a typhoon in 1874 and remained out of service until 1910. Beautifully restored in recent years and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is one of China's best known and most visited lighthouses. In recent years, it has been the subject of an extended controversy, as preservationists have protested plans for high-rise buildings that may block the view (and the light) from the lighthouse. The lighthouse is built within the walls of the Fortaleza (fortress) da Guia, completed in 1638. Located atop Guia Hill near the southeast corner of the Macau Peninsula. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Macau Heritage. ARLHS MAC-001; Admiralty F3416; NGA 19640.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • Ponta Sul (1911-?), tip of the Macau Peninsula.

Adjoining pages: North and West: Central Guangdong | East: Hong Kong

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Posted November 17, 2008. Checked and revised October 2, 2014. Lighthouses: 1. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.