Portuguese Macau

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Portuguese colony
"Hymno Patriótico" (1808–26)
Patriotic Anthem

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

"A Portuguesa" (1911–99)
The Portuguese
Capital Macau
Political structure Colony
Head of state
 •  1557 King John III (first)
 •  1996–99 President Jorge Sampaio (last)
 •  1557–58 Francisco Martins (first)
 •  1991–99 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
Currency Macanese pataca (from 1894)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ming dynasty
Today part of  Macau
Proposed flag for Portuguese Macau.

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, on top of the Penha Hill. The city of Macau on its peninsula with both the outer and inner harbours are visible. Also visible is the outlying island of Ilha Verde (center) and Lapa island (left side), the latter then being part of Macau, reverting to China after the Japanese Invasion in the Second World War. Taipa and Coloane are the only islands of Macau not visible in this portrait. In the background, mountains in the Zhuhai area can be seen.

See also[edit]


  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. 

External links[edit]