Portuguese Macau

Portuguese colony
Tierced per mantel: I argent, five quinas shields azure and argent; II azure, a Chinese dragon Or holding a quinas shield azure with five plates; and III barry wavy of azure and argent
Flag of the Govt of
Portuguese Macau
Coat of arms of
Portuguese Macau
"Hymno Patriótico" (1808-1826)
Patriotic Anthem

"Hino da Carta" (1826-1911)
Hymn of the Charter

"A Portuguesa" (1911-1999)
The Portuguese
Capital Macau
Political structure Colony
Head of state
   1557 King John III (first)
  1996–1999 President Jorge Sampaio (last)
  1557–1558 Francisco Martins (first)
  1991–1999 Vasco Joaquim Rocha Vieira (last)
Legislature Legislative Assembly
Historical era First wave of European colonization
   Permanent Portuguese settlement established 1557
  Colony proclaimed 1847
  Treaty of Peking December 1, 1887
  Joint Declaration April 13, 1987
   Transferred to China December 20, 1999 1999
Currency Macanese pataca (from 1894)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ming dynasty

Portuguese Macau was the period of Macau as a Portuguese colony and later, an overseas province under Portuguese administration from 1557 to 1999. Macau was both the first and last European colony in China.[1][2]


Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century. In 1557 Macau was rented to Portugal by the Chinese empire as a trading port. The Portuguese administered the city under Chinese authority and sovereignty until 1887, when Macau became a colony of the Portuguese empire. Sovereignty over Macau was transferred back to China on 20 December 1999.

The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration on the Question of Macau and the Macau Basic Law stipulate that Macau operate with a high degree of autonomy until at least 2049, fifty years after the transfer.[3]


Panoramic photograph of Macau, taken by Jules Itier in the 19th Century. The city of Macau on its peninsula with both the outer and inner harbours are visible. Also visible are the outlying islands of Taipa, Dom João, Lapa and of Montanha, the latter three then part of Macau, reverting to China after the Japanese Invasion in the Second World War. Coloane and Ilha Verde are the only islands of Macau not visible in this portrait.

See also


  1. Bong Yin Fung (1999). Macau: a General Introduction (in Chinese). Joint Publishing (H.K.) Co. Ltd. ISBN 962-04-1642-2.
  2. "Macau and the end of empire". BBC News Online. 18 December 1999. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
  3. "Content of Basic Law of Macau". University of Macau. Retrieved 7 January 2008.

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