The Moorish Barracks is currently called Maritime Administration Building. It was built in 1874, designed by an Italian architect Cassuto. It was the accommodation for soldiers from India. During that time, the European soldiers easily got sick for they were not used to the tropical climate. The Portuguese government acknowledged of the situation, and they knew that Indian soldiers were adaptive to work in tropical weather. So, the Portuguese government recruited a troop of Moorish soldiers from Goa to defend Macau.
The barracks is a brick and stone structure in Arabic architectural style with Mughal influences. It faced the inner harbour, good ventilation and was spacious enough to accommodate up to 200 soldiers. It was constructed on the slope of Barra Hill, with enormous observation platform with a panoramic view of the inner harbour.
(Left) Observation platform
(Right) View of the street from the observation deck
Over the time with due to the importance of port affairs, soldiers were removed from the buildings, it had become the building for marine service and marine police. The location was good for them to monitor the maritime activities in the inner harbour. Today it is the administrative building of Marine and Water Bureau. It was one of the 22 sites that was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005.
Marine and Water Bureau was officially formed on July 18, 2013. So they organise a series of activities every year in July to celebrate their anniversary. The activities include but not limited to special opening of Guia lighthouse, Moorish Barracks, Government Dockyard to the public, free admission to Maritime Museum, Cruise Ride of the inner harbour,…etc.
So, what’s inside the building? Here come the picture highlights: