A-Ma Temple, situated on the southwest tip of the Macau Peninsula, is one of the oldest and most famous Taoist temples in Macau. Built in 1488, the temple is dedicated to Matsu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen.
The name Macau is thought to be derived from the name of the temple. It is said that when the Portuguese sailors landed at the coast just outside the temple and asked the name of the place, the natives replied "A-Ma-Gau" (bay of goddess A-Ma). The Portuguese then named the peninsula "Macao". The temple was well described in ancient Chinese texts, as well as represented in paintings, related to Macao. It is also one of the first scenes photographed in Macao.
Temple consists of six main parts: Gate Pavilion, the Memorial Arch, the Prayer Hall, the Hall of Benevolence (the oldest part of the temple), the Hall of Guanyin, Zhengjiao Chanlin - Buddhist Pavilion.
In 2005, the temple became one of the designated sites of the Historic Centre of Macau enlisted on UNESCO World Heritage List.