Located in close proximity to the Ruins of St. Paul’s is Fortaleza do Monte or Mount Fortress, the oldest fort in Macau. This military defense complex, built by the Jesuits in the early decades of the 1600s, is part of the Historic Center of Macau. Mount Fortress was constructed principally to defend the tiny Portuguese colony against invaders from the sea, the most famous of which were the Dutch invaders who were also unsuccessful in their attempt to conquer Macau.
Perched atop Mount Hill, which 52 meters above sea level, one will have a good 360-degree of Macau at Mount Fortress. The 8,000 square meter fortress is fortified with steel cannons and also features military barracks, wells and an arsenal. Visitors may also enjoy a stroll at a public park lined with trees, and a visit at the observatory and the 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’ top platform. 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.
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 the similar – you get the same sense of deep history and heritage as you walk along the jagged cobblestone floorings.