Lying to the east of the Ruins of St. Paul's the Monte Fort is the oldest forts in Macau. Built in 1616, Monte Fort originally belonged to St. Paul's Church and was used to defend the church from the pirates. Afterwards, it became solely a military fort.
The fort is quadrilateral with bastions at each corner and about 100 meters (328 feet) in circumference. Barracks, cisterns and storehouses were the main buildings of the fort. An ancient tower situated here was one of the sites of the Society of Jesus. With cannons on the four sides, the fort was strongly fortified. Though the cannons have lost their military function, they still remain.
In 1838, a fire destroyed the fort buildings as well as the Jesuit College and St. Paul's Church. Only the fore wall of the church now remains and is known as the Ruins of St. Paul's.
In 1965, a single-storey barrack in South European style was transformed into the Macau Meteorological Bureau. An ancient bell made by an expert in casting cannons hangs to its right. In 1998, the Macau Museum was established here, detailing the development and the customs of Macau.
The landscape surrounding the fort is quite charming. Standing on the platform, visitors have an excellent view across Macau, making the Monte Fort a very popular attraction for both tourists and locals.
Location: on a hill next to the Ruins of St. Paul's
Transportation: Bus No.8A, 17, 18, 19, 26
Opening hours: 6:00-19:00 (May - Sep.)
7:00-18:00 (Oct. - the next Apr.)