The Guia Fortress, or Fortaleza da Guia, is a historical military fort, chapel, and lighthouse complex that were constructed between 1622 and 1638, after an unsuccessful attempt by the Netherlands to capture Macau from Portugal.
The complex was built upon the highest point on Macau, Guia Hill, and named after the same location. The lighthouse dating from 1865, was the first western style lighthouse in east Asia or on the China coast. Macau takes its coordinates from the exact location of the lighthouse.
The lighthouse stands at 91 meters tall, and has a light visible for some 20 miles in clear weather conditions. At the top, there is a circular observation platform, where the lantern is installed.
The light transmitter is accessed by a spiral flight of stairs inside. Inside the fortress also stands Guia Chapel, built around 1622 by Clarist nuns, who resided at the site before establishing the Convent of St. Clare. Just nine years ago, frescoes were uncovered in the chapel during routine conservation work.
The chapel’s elaborate frescoes depict representations of both western and Chinese themes, displaying motifs of religious and mythological inspiration that are a perfect example of Macao’s multicultural dimension. Guia Fortress has a trapezoidal shape covering an area of 800 square meters.