Lus de Cames Park

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Area : Macau
Address: Praa de Lus de Cames de Macau
Opening Hours: 6:00-24:00
Tel: 2833 7676
Fee: Free
Transportation: Public Bus Information Station
Introduction:
Located at Lus de Cames Square and neighbouring Protestant Cemetery and St. Anthony’s Church, Lus de Cames Park is one of Macao’s public parks which have a rich history. It was formerly a park villa built by the wealthy Portuguese merchant Manuel Pereira in the mid-18th century and had been leased to the British East India Company as its office in Macao. The property was later passed on to Loureno Caetano Marques, a member of the Pereira family who was fond of keeping pigeons. There were so many pigeons roosting on the ledges and eaves of the park villa that made it look like a huge pigeon’s nest from a far distance, hence the name of the park in Chinese, “White Pigeon Nest Garden”. Marques also had a high appreciation of the Portuguese poet Lus de Cames (1524-1580), who allegedly had completed a part of his well-known epic poem “Os Lusadas” in a grotto of the park villa back then. The bronze bust of this illustrious Portuguese poet in Lus de Cames Park was sculpted by Manuel Maria Bordalo Pinheiro and installed in a grotto built with three huge rocks in 1866. On the front of the stone pedestal of the bust, the first three stanzas of the first canto of “Os Lusadas” were inscribed, while the Chinese translation was inscribed on the back. In 1885, the Macao government bought the park villa and turned it into a public park. In 1920, the mansion in the park was transformed into Lus de Cames Museum, which was sold to Fundao Oriente in 1989 to be its office in Macao.

There is a sculpture named “Embrace” erected at the centre of the fountain not far from the entrance of the park. It was produced by sculptor Irene Vilar in 1996. The stone stairway leading to Cames Grotto was paved with Portuguese cobblestones arranged in patterns on the theme of the epic poem “Os Lusadas”, which were adapted by Jorge Estrela from the drawings of the master Lima de Freitas. A viewing platform stands on the highest point of the park. It was constructed by the order of the French geographer and explorer Count Jean-Francois de Galaup for the purpose of astronomical studies in 1787, at the time when his fleet berthed along the shore of Taipa Island.
Over the northern side of the park is an artificial cascade built with two groups of natural overlapping rocks. The statue of St. Andrew Kim Taegon (1821-1846), who had studied in Macao from 1837 to 1842 and was the first Korean Christian martyr, stands nearby. It was gifted to the Diocese of Macao in 1986 by the Korean Catholic Church.
Besides these attractions, the park has a small library, children’s playground and fitness equipment, etc.
The park was once a nursery for plant species collected by the British East India Company. Today, it is still a green space with many old trees, such as Mock Bodh Tree (Ficus rumphii), Persimmon-leaved Litsea (Litsea monopetala), Jambolan Plum (Syzygium cumini), Karnikar (Pterospermum heterophyllum), Buddhist Pine (Podocarpus macrophyllus) and Chinese Banyan (Ficus microcarpa). The Breadfruit Tree (Artocarpus altilis) in the square facing the park entrance is the first of its species planted in Macao.
The hill where the park is located is also known by the Chinese name of “Phoenix Hill” owing to the Flame Trees (delonix regia), which are also called Phoenix trees in Chinese, growing over there since the Qing dynasty. When the red flowers of these trees are in full bloom during spring and summer, the park puts on a beautiful shade of red.

Lus de Cames Park is a sightseeing destination of Macao, as it is historically significant and of exotic beauty and serenity.

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