Monte Fort is also referred to as Fortaleza do Monte or Mount Fortress and it is the historical military center of Macau. It lies to the east of the Ruins of St. Paul’s and originally belonged to the St. Paul’s Church. It used to defend the church from the Pirates. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also a part of “Historic Center of Macau”. It was originally built in 16th century by the Jesuits and is one of the oldest forts.
This fort was the principal military defense structure of city and crucial in successfully holding of the attempt of Dutch invasion in Macao in the year 1622. This fortress was equipped with military barracks, cannons, well and arsenal holding sufficient supplies and ammunition for enduring a siege lasting up to two years. It is build on the Mount Hill which is about 52 meters above the sea level.
Monte Fort covers an area of about eight thousand square meters and in the shape of trapezoid. Its four corners protrude to form the bulwarks. The south-eastern, south-western and north eastern walls are built on about 4 meter wide granite bases. These walls are made up of solid rammed earth and strengthened further by thick stucco of ground oyster shells. These walls face the Chinese Mainland do not have any battlement which indicates that this fortress was build only for the defense against the attacks from the sea side. This design inspired the authorities of Southern China to start building the similar kind of fortresses for defending their extensive coastline.
You can get the spectacular panoramic view of the city by visiting this old fort. There is a tree covered park which offers a nice place for sitting and resting to enjoy the views. The Museum of Macau or the Museu de Macau was built on this hill in the 1990s.