One of the most prominent buildings in Senado Square, the second one that is part of the famous Macau square that we address in our articles after the Leal Senado Building and included in the World Heritage List of the Historic Centre of Macau, is the Holy House of Mercy building.
The history of the building is completely tied up with the history of the institution with the same name, the Holy House of Mercy, one that is almost four hundred and fifty years old, which started as a medical clinic, a lay brotherhood giving succor to the poor and miserable and needy and shortly after as an asylum attending lepers. The lazar house as it was called at the time was the first social welfare service ever to be constituted in Macau. Nowadays, the Holy House has adopted a series of comprehensive measures to embrace the changes, such as repairing and renovating its social services facilities, providing child-care services, and setting up the Macau Holy House of Mercy Museum. (in “The Macau Holy House of Mercy—The Past and the Present”).
The main building features a richly decorative arcaded facade which occupies a prominent position on Senado Square. It is composed of a mixed variety of columns and pilasters set between the archways, creating behind them a passageway for pedestrians at ground level and a balcony on the upper level. The rhythmic placement of these pilasters and their height variations enliven the façade. With the exception of the granite pedestals on ground level, the whole building is painted white, presenting simple elegance and a sense of tranquility. The building is neo-classical in the overall architectural treatment, but also depicts traces of mannerist influence such as in the use of “imprisoned” columns at ground level. (in “Macau World Heritage website”).
For more information about The Holy House of Mercy, you can visit their museum which is based in the institution’s historic building. Open 10:00am–12:00pm; 2:00pm–5:30pm; closed on Mondays and public holidays.
The Holy House of Mercy, Museum of the Holy House of Mercy Senado Square, 2 Travessa da Misericordia, +853 2857 3938/2833 7503, www.scmm.mo