Leal Senado Building

The Leal Senado Building (Portuguese for Loyal Senate) was the seat of Portuguese Macau's government (Legislative Assembly of Macau and Municipal Council of Macau). It is located at one end of the Senado Square in São Lourenço, Macau, China. It currently houses Macau's Municipal Affairs Bureau.

Leal Senado Building
Edifício do Leal Senado
Macao Edificio do Leal Senado.jpg
Façade of the old Leal Senado building
Leal Senado Building is located in Macau
Leal Senado Building
Location within Macau
General information
TypeGovernment building
LocationMacau, China
AddressNo. 163 Avenidade Almeida Ribeiro
Coordinates22°11′36″N 113°32′22″E / 22.1933°N 113.5394°E / 22.1933; 113.5394
Current tenantsMunicipal Affairs Bureau
ClientPortuguese government
OwnerMacau government (current)
Leal Senado Building
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese民政總署大樓
Simplified Chinese民政总署大楼
Portuguese name
PortugueseEdifício do Leal Senado


The title was bestowed on Macau's government in 1810 by Portugal's prince regent João, who later became King John VI of Portugal. This was a reward for Macau's loyalty to Portugal, which refused to recognise Spain’s sovereignty during the Philippine Dynasty that it occupied Portugal, between 1580 and 1640. A plaque ordered by the king commemorating this can still be seen inside the entrance hall.


A Chinese-style Pavilion used to stand on the site of Leal Senado building. That building was then a meeting place for the Portuguese and the Chinese officials, and where the Ming dynasty government would announce regulations to Macau. The Portuguese planned to buy the pavilion as early as 1583, as well as some Chinese houses behind it. However, it wasn't until 1784 that the Portuguese government finally purchased it at a price of 80,000 taels.

The Leal Senado building itself was built after the purchase, and became the center of Macau's politics since then. Portuguese rallies and celebrations were also held here. Although built in 1784, it was in a style similar to plain style from 14th- to 15th-century Portugal than the Pombaline style that was popular at the time when the Leal Senado was built. A number of institutions were affiliated to the building, including a museum of Luís Vaz de Camões, a post office, a court and a prison, yet all had moved elsewhere.

It was completely refurbished in 1904. In 1936 the building was damaged again by another typhoon.[1]

After the handover of Macau to China in 1999 it became the headquarters of the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau.

It became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Macau in 2005.


The building is U-shaped. The right part of the first floor of the building features an exhibition hall, hosting art exhibitions on a regular basis. The convention hall is on the second floor, where the public meetings and press conferences of the former Macau Municipal Council and the current Institute of Civic and Municipal Affairs are held. A public library, opened in 1929, is located at the Northwestern part of the first floor. It is blueprinted after the library of Mafra Convent in Portugal, decorated in classical style. It contains around 18,500 books and specialises in collecting foreign language books in dating from 17th century to the 1950s, in particular those of Portuguese history in Africa and the Far East. The building has retained all its original master walls and primary layout, including the courtyard garden in the back.[2]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Leal Senado Building - | MacauHoliday Tourism Travel & City Guide". Archived from the original on 2015-04-20. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  2. ^ Lonely Planet. "Leal Senado in Macau Peninsula". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  • Shipp, Steve: Macau, China: A Political History of the Portuguese Colony's Transition to Chinese Rule

External linksEdit