This Buddhist temple dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy was founded in the 13th century and the present buildings date from 1627. It is one of the biggest and wealthiest of Macao's temples with a huge entrance gate and roofs clustered with porcelain figures. Separated by open courtyards are richly decorated halls dedicated to the Precious Buddhas, the Buddha of Longevity and Kun Iam, who is dressed in embroiled silk with a fringed crown (which is changed every year). She is attended by 18 Buddhas on either side of the altar. In adjoining rooms are funeral chapels and scrolls honouring Kun Iam in pictures and calligraphy.
Behind the temple are terraced gardens. In one is the stone table on which was signed the first Sino-American treaty on July 3, 1844, by the Viceroy of Canton Ki Ying and the United States Minister Caleb Cushing. Nearby is the marble statue of a monk in an ornate pavilion, and four ancient banyan trees with branches intertwined which is known as the Lovers Tree and a symbol of marital fidelity.
In other parts of the garden are fountains shaped like miniature Chinese landscapes, groves of bamboo and small shrines to departed priests. The festival of Kun Iam is celebrated on the 19th day of second, sixth, ninth and 11th moons.
Address: No. 2 Avenida do Coronel Mesquita
Opening hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
|Bus routes nearby:||12, 17, 18, 18B, 23, 28C|