Lifestyle See and do

The history of the S. Francisco Garden

Written by Yuci Tai

The S. Francisco Garden has a long history as the first garden in Macau. It was a gathering place for the upper class, who loved strolling, chatting and overlooking the sea. In the evening, they would come to enjoy the melodic music. But over time, reclamation of the land began as Macau began its rapid expansion. Then the bandstand for the music performance was demolished, leaving only the garden. The Chinese octagonal building in the garden, once a bar, became a small public reading library. The S. Francisco Garden had repeatedly changed over the years but it remains a place of historical significance which not many people know.

The S. Francisco Church of Macao was built by the Catholic Franciscan Order. Since its construction in the late 16th century, it had been the base and temporal residence for Spanish Franciscan missionaries in China, with Antonio de Santa Maria Caballero, Buenaventura Ibanez, Antonius Martiho Concepcion and Martin Palau the most notable. It had played a very important role in the missionary era of China spanning from the 17th to 18th century but the Franciscan Order was expelled from the territory due to a religious edict issued by the King of Portugal. The church was converted into barracks, then changed to be the S. Francisco Garden upon order of the Macau government.

Why not take a few minutes out from your day and visit this important landmark?