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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
A Portuguesa  (Portuguese)
The Portuguese
Capital Macau
Political structure Colony
Head of state
 -  1557 King John III (first)
 -  1996–1999 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)

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


  • History 1
  • Gallery 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


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.  
  2. ^ "Macau and the end of empire".  
  3. ^ "Content of Basic Law of Macau".  

External links

  • Official website of the Portuguese Government of Macau (Web archive) (Portuguese)

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