Luis de Camoes Grotto and Garden
Having spent time in the Portuguese naval fleet outside of Goa, Camões was appointed to a position in Macau where he penned his epic work Os Lusíadas in the grotto which now bears his name. Having lost an eye in military skirmishes off of North Africa, Camões nevertheless took a Chinese lover while in Macau, with whom he sailed back to Portugal. It’s rumored that when he found himself shipwrecked off of the Cambodian coast on his return journey, Camões swam ashore while holding his still unfinished manuscript over his head to avoid its being ruined. So loved was Camões by the Portuguese that the date of his death, June 10, is still regarded as Portugal Day, an event which inspires Portuguese citizens of Macau to gather in the grotto which still bears his name.
Visitors who choose to spend a morning on the hilly slopes of the garden can relax in the morning calm and watch local residents practice their tai-chi. Curiously enough, the gardens are also a favorite spot for those who come to walk their caged birds. Aside from the bronze bust of Camões which graces the park, a notable structure within the park is the “Embrace” statue, a piece which symbolizes the healthy colonial relationship of Chinese and Portuguese cultures as they shared the longest and most successful history of colonialism found anywhere on the Asian continent.
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