“Leal Senado” Building

Opening hours

Gallery: 09:00 - 21:00
Closed on Mondays and public Holidays

Introduction

Originally built in 1784, this was Macao’s original municipal chamber, a function it maintains to the present. The name “Leal Senado” (“Loyal Senate”), derives from the title “City of Our Name of God Macao, There is None More Loyal” which was bestowed by Portuguese King D. John IV in 1654, after Portugal regained its independence following 60 years of rule by Spain (1580-1640). During this period, the people of Macao remained loyal to the Portuguese king, who at the time was exiled in Brazil.

The “Leal Senado” Building is neoclassical in design and has retained all its original master walls and primary layout, including the courtyard garden in the back. The main façade is 14.5 metres high and 44 metres wide and is divided into three sections by vertical granite projections. The central section of the main façade juts out slightly from the rest of the building and is topped by a triangular pediment which, at its highest point, is 17 metres above the ground. Granite Doric columns, supporting lintels made of the same material, flank the main entrance.

rench windows in granite casings opening onto balconies with iron railings are the main decorative features of the façade. Inside the building on the first floor there is a ceremonial meeting room that opens onto an elaborate carved library styled after the library of Mafra Convent in Portugal, and a small chapel.


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North-East Elevation