The colonial administrator’s lavish sea-side mansions
Taipa Praia’s grand houses
This row of elegant, pastel green coloured houses along the banyan tree-shaded cobblestone waterfront promenade makes for a lovely picturesque setting and is a great place to sit down with a cold drink at the end of your walk. The five houses were built in 1921 as residences for the high-level civil servants in Taipa, their prominence illustrating that the Portuguese administration was here to stay. The grand architectural style was a sharp contrast to the original Chinese fishing village. If you look carefully you see the inscription ‘OP’ on each house for Obras Publicas or Department of Public Works indicating they were government property.
These days the houses are an immensely popular backdrop for couples to take their wedding photos and also an attractive photo shoot location for wanna-be models and aspiring movie stars.
These civil servants were mainly Macanese: the ethic mix of Portuguese-Chinese or Portuguese who were born and raised locally. The Portuguese preferred to employ Macanese in the city’s administration recognising their important assets in bridging the gap with the local communities. The civil servant positions were sought after by the Macanese middle class and the fact that housing was included was definitely a bonus.