Sights of Macau – Church of Our Lady of Penha


our lady of penha church

The iconic Church of Our Lady of Penha, is an unmissable sight when crossing the Sai Van bridge from Taipa towards Macau. The church can be seen from far away as it sits on the top of Penha hill and you will definitely see it as you approach the end of the Sai Van bridge towards Macau.

I have been to this church many times before but never to photograph and video it detail so I visited this church in early February this year to shoot some videos and pictures.

A Church that was first built 400 years ago.

The church was first built in 1622, was then rebuilt with the bishop’s residence in 1837 and then completely rebuilt again in 1935.

our lady of carmo on the top of penha church macau

Our Lady of Carmo with the holy infant Jesus

The first thing I noticed when I went into the church was the simplicity of its design. It almost felt like I went back in time when I was in this church. Probably one of the things that contributed to that feeling was the confession box, it is the old wooden ‘open-top’ type which is very seldom seen nowadays

The open-top Confession box.

The Confession box.

The location of the church provides one of the best unobstructed views of Macau and Taipa island.

Just stand outside the church and you will be able to see the Macau Tower, Sai Van lake and bridge. Look further ahead and you will see Taipa island. Look to your right, and China is just right there. Turn to your left and the modern glitzy hotels and casinos along Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Av. de Lisboa and Rua Cidade de Sintra NAPE are in full view.  Casinos and Hotels like MGM, Mandarin Oriental, Wynn and the Grand Lisboa.

The Statue of Our Lady of Lourdes stands in the courtyard outside the church.

our lady of Lourdes statue macau

Besides the incredible views, being situated on top of a hill affords the church a tranquility and peacefulness that is hard to find in Macau. Here, you can hear the birds chirp and the leaves on the trees rustle in the breeze.

Walk down the stairs and there is the grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes.

Would you be interested in visiting this church the next time you are in Macau? If you are, here is some information that might be useful to you ☺️

Opening times:

The church compound is open everyday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The church itself is open everyday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Transport to the church:

You would probably need to take a taxi up to the church if you would prefer convenience and be dropped off at the front of the church gate. Do note that you will need to make pick-up arrangements for your trip down as taxis do not frequently go up to the church.

If you are not in a rush, you could also take a walk up to the church. Take Transmac bus no 16 to Rua Da Penha ( around Sai Van lake). Then follow the signs to walk up the hill to the church.

For Bus route details, please click Here.

Nearby Amenities:

Just outside the church is a small park with a children’s playground. From there you can take in the views of the government residence as well as Sai Van lake and bridge. Oh yes, and the Macau Tower as well!

There are drinks vending machines nearby but they were not functioning on the day I took these photos. There is also a washroom a short walk across the carpark from the small park.