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Lapa, Dom João, and Montanha islands

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Title: Lapa, Dom João, and Montanha islands  
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Language: English
Subject: History of Macau, Municipality of das Ilhas, Municipality of Macau, Portuguese Macau, Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Lapa, Dom João, and Montanha islands

Map of the Portuguese Colony of Macau (consisting of the Macau Peninsula, the Taipa Islands, and Coloane, published in 1912. The islands of Lapa, Dom João e Montanha are located to the west.
Current map of the Macau Special Administrative Region. To the west are the island of Hengqin and the peninsula of Wanzai.

Lapa, Dom João and Montanha are three islands located to the west of the Macau Peninsula and the Macau islands of Taipa and Coloane. They were inhabited by very small Chinese population in its early history.


In some historical registers, the Portuguese presence on the island dates back to the end of the 17th century when a group of missionaries established themselves on this Chinese island.

During the 19th century, Portuguese missionaries also began to populate and evangelize the other two islands. The Macau government also began to collect taxes from the populations of these three islands in exchange for protection as these islands were not protected by Chinese soldiers. The Portuguese built a leper colony on the island of Dom João and some schools to educate the few Chinese residents on the islands.

Followed by the Japanese invasion of China in 1938, the Portuguese officially occupied these three islands, with an excuse to better protect Portuguese missionaries residing there. In 1941, the Japanese Army threatened the Portuguese troops to force abandonment of these sparsely populated islands. Consequently, these islands were occupied by Japan. At the end of World War II, China was able to reoccupy the three islands.

Today, they are an incorporation of the Special Economic Zone of Zhuhai in Guangdong. The islands of Dom João and Montanha are now connected by an embankment that joins the two islands. This island was given the Chinese name, Hengqin. The Lotus Bridge makes the connection between Hengqin of Guangdong province and Cotai of Macau Special Administrative Region. The island of Lapa, established from land reclamation became a peninsula connected to the "mainland".

There are proposals to develop sparsely populated Hengqin into a tourist area with many hotels and luxury resorts. Hengqin has recently begun to experience major development with new residential areas.

Macau, due to lack of land, wanted to annex the island of Hengqin expressed their desire to the Chinese Central Government. The Central Government did not allow this integration. However, on September 1, 2005, the Central Government allowed entrepreneurs from Macau and Hong Kong to be exempt from the payment of some taxes and fees. The CPG also allowed greater flexibility in controlling migration to the island to promote investment.


Lapa is an island in the Xiangzhou District of the city of Zhuhai in Guangdong, China. It is adjacent to the Macau Peninsula of Macau. The Chinese call the island 'Wanzai' (Chinese: 湾仔).

Wanzai area in the east side of Ilha de Lapa was under Portuguese control from 1849 to 1887. It was located across the Inner Harbour from Macau. In a 1700 map, the island has a defensive battery and manufacturing facility.[1]

Dom João

Dom João was a Chinese island adjacent to Taipa of Macau. After land reclamation, a only a creek separate Dom João from Montanha and has become the northern part of Hengqin in Zhuhai, Guangdong.

The Chinese calls Dom João 'Xiao Hengqin' (Chinese: 小横琴岛).


Montanha was a Chinese island adjacent to Coloane of Macau. After land reclamation, a only a creek separate Montanha from Dom João and has become the southern part of Hengqin in Zhuhai, Guangdong.

The Chinese calls Montanha 'Da Hengqin' (Chinese: 大橫琴岛).

See also


  1. ^

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