The Section of the Old City Walls are the remains of a wall that surrounded the city of Macau in the 16th and 17th centuries when it first became a colony of Portugal.
Construction began in 1569 to defend against the Chinese (and other colonial powers). This was a common early tradition of Portuguese exploration to build defensive walls around the main port settlements on their main trading routes, After a failed attempt by the Dutch to invade, the fortifications were greatly improved by the Ming authorities in 1622.
Once the need for it left, it slowly fell into disrepair and now only small sections of it remain. One of the main sections of the wall still standing is next to the Na Tcha Temple, near the Ruins of St Paul’s.
This remnant of wall measures 5.6m by18.5m, and is 1m thick. It shows how local building methods were used for the walls, such as the compound known as ‘chunambo’ – a mixture or clay, soil, sand, rice, straws, crushed rocks and oyster shells built up in many layers.
The walls form part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau Word Heritage site.