Colina da Guia, or Guia Hill, is known in Chinese as the "Hill of the Pines", as it was believed that in the past this type of tree would abound in the area. It not only is the highest point in Macao Peninsula, but it is also known as one of the Eight Best Landscapes of Macao. Given its geographic location, this hill was an important bastion in the military defense of the city,
In the wake of complex international affairs, including two World Wars, the Portuguese Government of Macao ordered the construction of a large number of military facilities on Guia Hill, and thus a sizeable defense system was built over the area as a preparation for war..
The Guia defense system encompasses towers, fortresses, military tunnels and structures, barracks and other facilities. As described in The Chronology of the History of Macao, by Beatriz Basto da Silva, in 1931, «Under the supervision of Ensign Alferes da Cunha, murdered during the Second World War, the construction of a large underground fortification was started on the hills of Guia and of Penha, with coastal artillery of 12- and 15,5-inches long being placed there upon project completion». In Guia Hill, three tunnels formed a complex network that covered the entire defense system and were used as shortcuts between the various military facilities, as well as air-raid shelters, to station troops, to resist attacks from sea and land, to store provisions, among other purposes.
Of the existing tunnel system, Tunnel Complexes A and B are now opened to the public. In particular, Tunnel Complex A includes only one 52-meter long path that runs at a regular level underneath the Guia Lighthouse. With just one entrance and one exit, it was equipped with an electric generator and included a resting room and a storage tank for fuel. On the cement wall at the tunnel's entrance is the inscription ‘1931’, pertaining to the year of its construction. On the other hand, Tunnel Complex B is longer than Tunnel A, measuring approximately 456 metres. It is equipped with a storage room and a powder magazine, featuring gears, ropes and other equipment that allows the hoisting of weapons and ammunition. With various entrances and exits, the tunnel complex forms a network that leads in all directions. It also accommodates a stone table which served as an observation platform and a stone ladder that provided access to the hilltop barracks. The network formed by the three military tunnels facilitated the transportation of weapons and provided support to the troops stationed on Guia Hill, forming the ‘capillary vessels’ of this entire military system.
The vicinity of the tunnels was classified as a restricted military area, being constantly monitored and surrounded with barbed wire displaying the sign ‘Restricted Military Area’, in order to prevent civilians from coming closer. The majority of soldiers in the area were from overseas Portuguese colonies, such as Mozambique and Angola, each being given a number, uniform and regulations to follow. Soldiers later started leaving the barracks and tunnels and eventuallythe restricted military areawas opened to visitors during the 1970s.
Address: Rampa da Guia
Guia Military Tunnel Complex A: 10:00am-5:00pm (Closed on Mondays. Open on the remaining days of the week, including on public holidays)
Guia Military Tunnel Complex B: 3:00-5:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays (Visitors will need to be accompanied by a tour guide)
Please call (853) 8399 6699 during office hours.
Guia Military Tunnel Complex A: Each visit is limited to 15 people
Guia Military Tunnel Complex B: Each visit is limited to 15 people