A-Ma Temple

Macau, Macao

A-Ma Temple

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The A-Ma Temple is a temple to the Chinese sea-goddess Mazu located in São Lourenço, Macau, China. Built in 1488, the temple is one of the oldest in Macau and thought to be the settlement's namesake.

The name Macau was thought to be derived from the name of the temple. It is said that when the Portuguese sailors landed at the coast just outside the temple and asked the name of the place, the natives replied Maa-gok or A-maa-gok (lit. "The Pavilion of the Mother"). The Portuguese then named the peninsula "Macau". The temple was well described in ancient Chinese texts, as well as represented in paintings, related to Macao. It is also one of the first scenes photographed in Macao.

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