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Macau boasts an impressive collection of mansions with fascinating histories that feature a blend of Western and Asian architectural influence. Many have been converted into historical centers with preserved interiors, containing original artwork and furniture that allow visitors to see how the wealthy Chinese residents use to live back in the 1800s.
Chui Lok Chi MansionBuilt in 1918, Chui Lok Chi Mansion is located near St. Lazarus and is part of the Charitable Organizations historic walk. Designed with a European-style facade, the property has balconies on every floor that look out onto the busy street, and it also features the Collection Exhibition of Tai Fung Tong Art House, which consists of some 300 items that date back to the Neolithic era. Chui Lok Chi is open daily (except Mondays) from 2 to 6 p.m.
Kou Ho Neng MansionAlthough not open to the public, it’s still worth walking by Kou Ho Neng Mansion for an exterior view of this preserved historical monument that combines the best of Eastern and Western architectural styles. The mansion was once owned by Kou Ho Neng, who was known as the “pawn shop tycoon” during the first half of the 1900s, and it was previously used as an opium house in its early years. Located on Rua do Campo, the mansion is eye-catching with its Portuguese architecture and bright colors. Peer past the gates for a glimpse of Chinese 19th-century carved wood fixtures, which feature designs like the ones you’ll find inside Lou Kau Mansion.
Lou Kau MansionBuilt in 1889 and named after the Chinese merchant and gambling tycoon who lived there, Lou Kau Mansion is one of the most well-preserved historical mansions in Macau that hints at its colonial past. A beautiful blend of Western design mixed with neo-classical features and wooden ceilings, the two-story property’s decadent architecture and stained-glass windows are reminiscent of the cathedrals and churches in Macau, offering both indoor and outdoor spaces to explore. In addition to two traditional Chinese-style courtyards, visitors will find three halls that are symmetrically arranged to represent the hierarchical Chinese family structure.
There is no entrance fee, and the mansion — located along an alley right off Senado Square, across the way from St. Dominic’s Church — is open on weekends and public holidays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tours are offered in Chinese, although most guides speak some English. There are also folk handicraft activities held on-site. Visitors seeking a more casual experience have the option to wander in and explore on their own, as well.
Mandarin’s House Also known as Zhengjia House, Mandarin’s House is part of the Historic Centre of Macau, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was owned in the 1800s by Zheng Guanyin, a merchant, writer and patron of the arts who kept his multiroom complex in the traditional Guangdong family style, with the addition of a few Western details. Most sections of the house are open to the public; there is no entrance fee, and the property is open daily (except Wednesdays) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Taipa Houses MuseumA colorful collective of five houses built in 1921, these beautifully preserved homes were the residences of high superiors and local Macanese families until they were purchased in the 1980s by Macau’s tourist department and turned into a museum. Each house has been renamed and showcases different aspects of ancient life in the area. Macanese House and House of the Islands are designed in colonial style and contain furniture, objects and decor that were standard Portuguese style during the early 20th century.
Meanwhile, House of the Portugal Regions contains an assortment of photographs, ceramics and sculptures, and House for Reception hosts various cultural events and festivals. Open daily (except Mondays) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the museum offers free admission on Sundays.
The DetailsMacao Government Tourism Office en.macaotourism.gov.mo