Coloane Library

Coloane, Macau | C.1983

Photo Credit: Alberto Chan

In the parish of Coloane, Portuguese chapels live side by side with Chinese temples. The Coloane Library’s eye-catching yellow facade is a remnant of the Portuguese colony that once existed on this unique island, now part of the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

From the time of the Song dynasty until the Portuguese arrival in 1864, Coloane was a sea salt farm for China. The Portuguese turned Macau into an important trading port, but the area remained largely deserted (except by pirates) until 1910. The population grew after the Estrada do Istmo, a land bridge connecting Coloane with the neighboring island of Taipa, was completed in 1969.

Built in 1911, the library building initially belonged to the Old Town School of Coloane, but was transformed into the library in 1983. Classified as a Building of Architectural Interest, Coloane Library is part of the Macau Public Library system. It manages more than 15 public libraries around the region.

Macau has a very high Human Development Index and the fourth-highest life expectancy in the world. The territory is highly urbanized and most of its development is built on reclaimed land. In fact, two-thirds of its total land area is reclaimed from the sea. Though much of Macau is famous for casinos, visitors can find a bit of peace wandering the old streets of Coloane.

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