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Typical Architectures

Municipal Affairs Bureau Building

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Address: Midway of Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, in front of Senado Square
Opening hour: 9h00—21h00
Located at Senado Square, the building where IAM is seated nowadays was constructed in the late 16th century and had been used for senate meetings by the Macao local authority and as the office of the municipal administration in the past. It underwent modification in 1784, restoration in 1876 and a major reconstruction in 1940 that had face-lifted the building with its present façade and appearance.As time passes by, the name of this building also has changed a few times. Originally called ‘Municipal Council’, the building was renamed ‘Provisional Municipal Council’ after the establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region. It was later renamed ‘Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau’. On 1 January 2019, Municipal Affairs Bureau is officially established, replacing the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau. Therefore, the building is renamed ‘Municipal Affairs Building’.
The white façade of the Building, with its main entrance lying in the central, is modestly adorned with mud-brown granite pillars to give it a dignified and stately look. It resembles a piece of neat letter paper with
“Municipal Affairs Bureau” written on its letterhead. Underneath it is a horizontal line of deep-green framed windows with potted flowers suspended from their sills. The orderly layout of the structure is indeed comfortable and pleasant to sight.
The sizable Lobby has its floor paved by stone slabs and the lower one-third portion of its lateral walls covered by Portuguese ceramic tiles in blue to give it a touch of archaic grace. The Gallery, located on the right wing of the Lobby, was opened to public in 1985. It used to be the office for administrative affairs before it was transformed into a gallery for holding regular cultural and art displays.
In the central of the Lobby is an arched doorway giving access to a
stone staircase. On the top of the wall facing the staircase is a relief of Queen Dona Leonor, which used to be housed by the church of the Holy House of Mercy. It was moved to the IAM Building after the church was demolished.
There is a corridor of stairs in between the stone staircase and the arched doorway leading up to the Grand Hall and the Library in the first floor of the Building. By today, IAM still holds press conferences in this Hall. The Library, built in 1656, is the oldest in Macao and is nowadays managed by the Cultural Affairs Bureau. It has a collection of over 30000 books, with most of them being Western documentations and literature published before 1950. Some of these are antique publications and rare editions.
The arched doorway opens to a back garden embellished by a fountain built in 1939 that carries the coat of arms of Portugal on the top of the stone wall behind it.