Macau’s Fortaleza do Monte (Mount Fortress)

October 25, 2017

Learn about the history of Fortaleza do Monte, the oldest fort in Macau.

Fortaleza do Monte or Mount Fortress, the oldest fort in Macau, is a military defense complex, built by the Jesuits in the early decades of the 1600s. It is part of the Historic Center of Macau and is located near the Ruins of St. Paul’s. 
Arch at Fortaleza do Monte

Macau’s Fortaleza do Monte (Mount Fortress)

    About Fortaleza do Monte

    Mount Fortress was constructed principally to defend the tiny Portuguese colony against invaders from the sea, the most famous of which was the Dutch invaders who were also unsuccessful in their attempt to conquer Macau.

    Wall at Fortaleza do Monte

    Perched atop Mount Hill, which 52 meters above sea level, one will have a good 360-degree of Macau from Mount Fortress. The view of the cityscape is spectacular. If you can wait until dark at Mount Fortress, do so because the city lights are amazing.

    Things to see in Fortaleza do Monte

    It's easy to explore Fortaleza do Monte or Mount Fortress because it is small. You just need half a day to go around the fortress grounds. Be sure to wear light and comfortable clothes though especially during the dry season because it can get hot.

    Cannonballs at Fortaleza do Monte

    Here are some of the things that you can see at Mount Fortress:

    1. Steel canons

    The 8,000 square meter fortress is fortified with steel cannons and also features military barracks, wells, and an arsenal. 

    Steel canons at Fortaleza do Monte

    Visitors may also enjoy a stroll at a public park lined with trees, and a visit to the observatory and the Macau Museum.

    2. Macau Museum

    The Macau Museum was built in 1998 within the confines of Fortaleza do Monte. It consists of two underground levels and a third one above the fortress’s top platform. 

    Macau Museum at Fortaleza do Monte

    The Macau Museum is the biggest museum in Macau. What is unique about this museum is that it showcases the diverse cultures that shaped the history, customs, and traditions of Macau.

    3. Old telescope

    Telescope at Fortaleza do Monte

    There is an old telescope at Fortaleza do Monte that is still usable, at least during the time when we went here. You can use it if you want a larger view of the city or a building in Macau.

    4. Old bell

    Alarm bell at Fortaleza do Monte

    There is an old bell at Mount Fortress that you might also want to check. It's the original alarm bell of the fortress, possibly used to warn people of incoming invaders. 

    5. The garden

    There is a garden in Fortaleza do Monte filled with trees and plants. You can take a walk around it or sit on a bench to rest your feet for a short time. 


    For Filipinos who have been to Intramuros, Fort Santiago, or any other old Spanish forts around the Philippines, the feeling of walking around Mount Fortress is similar – you get the same sense of deep history, and heritage as you walk along with the jagged cobblestone floorings.

    Walking around Fortaleza do Monte

    Similar stories

    For similar stories about Macau, please read any of the following articles:

    History of Fortaleza do Monte
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    1. Isa ito sa Mga gusto kong mapuntahan. Dahil sobrang gandA din talaga sa lugar nato. Sulit na sulit talaga ang pag punta dito. At talaga namang mag eenjoy ka lalo na kung kasama mopa family and friends mo..

    2. Yay must visit po itong Mount Fortress Ganda din ng history niya. Gusto ko pa naman ma experience pumunta sa nga historical places po katulad niyan. Yung tipong mas matagal pa sa akin yung building.

    3. enjoying Macau is not only about the beauty of the modern sceneries but there is also the historic view that you can enjoy. Macau's Fortaleza do Monte showcases the rich history of the place. it is nice to consider this place of you happened to visit Macau

    4. What a cool place. Looks like there is a lot of history there!

    5. Macau is on my list of places to visit in the near future, and I enjoy touring historical sites. I'll definitely put Fortaleza do Monte on the agenda. Thanks for your helpful tips for visitors!

    6. Oh wow I didn't know this place existed in Macau. It looks like a fascinating place to visit.

    7. Looks like an intriguing place to visit. I love all the detail carved into the big bell.

    8. Visiting Macau is one of my travel bucket list.. I am really eager to witness the ruins of Saint Paul.. This fortress is giving me some Intramuros vibes.. So nice to explore the history behind these places.. Thank you for sharing us your journey... I hope we can go back to normal again so we can all travel freely

    9. Macau is one of the best destination. It has a lot of beautiful places to see and explore. I wish to go back in that place someday!

    10. There is definitely more to Macau than just casinos. The Fortaleza do Monte is a must visit place. There is so much history to learn just by visiting this place.

    11. Such a neat place to visit! Sounds like there is a lot of interesting history here.

    12. Wow that is so cool! I would love to visit that fort and Macau some day. I really like historical buildings/structures.

    13. Interesting place, I like vising historical places and learn about it. This looks like was in a war for the canon. Would love to visit it some day!

      Fransic -

    14. Historical places like this is so interesting to visit. I love to learn more about Mount Fortress.

    15. I hope I can go back to Macau and visit Fortaleza do Monte. Seems like a nice historical place. Great pics!

    16. Reading your post made us remember our Macau trip too! I agree with you that it is best to wear light and comfortable clothes because it can be really hot. I definitely remember that old bell and the telescope.

    17. What a cool place to visit, to be surrounded by so much history! I would love yo visit this place some day, loving all your photos.

    18. The modern mixed with the historic makes this a fascinating place.