The Macao Museum is a historical and cultural museum with a vast number of objects of great historical value, which demonstrates the way of life and cultures of the various communities which have been inhabited the city for ages.
The first floor is a short and comparative presentation of the way western and Chinese civilizations were developed before the arrival of the Portuguese in the Pearl River Delta in the 16th century. Besides, history of Macao, commercial activities, religions and cultures of the two civilizations are also displayed. Mounting the stairs to the second floor, visitors have the opportunity to come into contact with different aspects of the popular art and traditions of Macao; such as people's daily lives, entertainment, religious ceremonies and traditional festivals. The third floor shows contemporary Macao including the characteristic aspects of city life. The way Macao has been portrayed in literature and the arts is prominently highlighted.
The Macao Museum is located in the Mount Fortress, which was built by the Jesuits in the early 17th century. For a long time, the Fortress was the city's principal military defence structure where public access was restricted. In 1965 this Fortress was converted into the Meteorological Services and later opened to the public. Built on top of the Mount Hill, the Mount Fortress offers a panoramic view of the city. On its west is the Ruins of St. Paul's. On 15th July 2005, the Historic Centre of Macao was officially listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. The Mount Fortress and the Ruins of St. Paul's are significant historical monuments of the Centre.
The Macao Museum was opened on 18th April 1998, consisting of two underground levels and a third one above the fortress' top platform where the old Meteorological Services is housed. The architectural character and special configuration of the architecture has been retained and preserved.