The gambling city of Asia, that is of course the big city of Macau. This city is the Las Vegas of Asia. In this huge city you can of course gamble, but there is much more to do. In this blog series we previously wrote about the different things you can do in the city of Macau. We wrote about the best burger bars, largest, unique and spectacular places you can visit and view and the hotels that are often exclusive, large and special. This time it is time for something different, because we will go into the rich history of the city. Are you curious about Macau’s rich history? Then read on!
The official city of Macau
The city of Macau is a special administrative region. Its official name is Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. It’s very official and sounds very interesting, but really that’s just the way the area is governed. The city is located in the southeast of China, 70 kilometers from Hong Kong and 140 kilometers from Guangzhou. Previously it was a colony of Portugal , now the city has to rely on tourism. There are many casinos, hotels and resorts that attract many tourists.
The History of Macau
In 1557 Macau became a colony of Portugal, from then on it was the oldest colony of the Europeans in China. The story that is known around the foundation of the colony is that the Portuguese entered a temple and asked where they were. When the answer was Ma Kok Miu, which was the name of the temple, it was later corrupted to Macau. Until the 19th century, only the peninsulas belonged to the colony, later the islands of Taipa and Coloane were also added. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Dutch made several attempts to conquer Macau from the Portuguese, but unfortunately without success. In 1622 the ultimate attempt was made with a massive invasion of people. There were 1,300 men and 13 ships to conquer Macau. The Portuguese were not able to withstand the invasion but managed to defeat the Dutch in a miraculous way! For example, the gunpowder supply of the Dutch was hit with a fluke, after which they drained. Because of that attack, the Portuguese decided to fortify the colony and build fortresses to protect the colony.
Trade in Macau
If we look at Macau’s trade as a colony, we can say that the population grew rapidly, partly due to the Chinese traders who helped the Portuguese to build a network. For example, the trading families of both countries were very important and they could not do without each other. The fact was that from Macau there was not only trade with China, but also with Japan, the Philippines and southeast Asia.
The second World War
In 1842, the British took over the city of Hong Kong, when Macau lost its dominant position. That also provided an advantage during the Second World War. Portugal was a neutral country and that was also the reason for the Japanese not to occupy Macau. Much of China and Hong Kong was occupied by the Japanese. Because other parts of China were occupied during the Chinese Civil War, many Chinese refugees came to Macau.
The Portuguese were cornered by the Cultural Revolution. The board was then forced to negotiate with China in order to keep some say in Macau. When the Carnation Revolution ended in 1974, talks were held between China and Portugal about a transfer of Macau. The Chinese wanted to add the city of Macau to China. Pretty soon, therefore, an intention was signed stating that Macau was territory of China, but the government would remain under the Portuguese. In January of 1988, this was changed by a new declaration on the condition of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle that Macau would become a special administrative region of China on December 20, 1999.