Sam Kai Vui Kun (Kuan Tai Temple)
09:00 - 18:00
This temple is located close to the old´Chinese Bazaar area, which nowadays functions as St. Dominic’s Market, still keeping the essence of the original function of the area. The date of construction of the temple is unknown, although plaques recovered from the site indicate a restoration date of 1792. The location of this Chinese construction at the heart of the main city square with its predominantly western-style architecture illustrates the harmonious coexistence of the two cultures. This temple is directly associated with long-standing Chinese business associations, precursors to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in the city. Official edicts from Chinese Mainland authorities were publicly announced in front of this temple. The testimony provided by this temple clearly demonstrates Macao’s enduring respect for both Chinese and Portuguese communities, with respective civic representations coexisting side-by-side. In this context, Sam Kai Vui Kun, representing the voice of the local Chinese commercial sector, played an important role in the civic and political affairs of the city.
Built by local Chinese tradesmen, the Sam Kai Vui Kun is a modest construction. In its simplicity however, elements of traditional Chinese treatment are embedded within, such as the green glazed tiles on the yingshan-style roof, the recessed entrance gateway of the lingnan architectural trend and the grey brick façade. Friezes under overhanging eaves are dressed with colourful sculptural ornaments depicting scenes from legendary tales. Upturned ridges on the roof add to the distinctive Chinese elements of the complex.