Camoes Garden and Grotto, or just Camoes Garden as well, is one of Macau's oldest parks. The park is also Macau's largest, covering an area of nearly 20,000 square meters (about 24,000 square yards).
It was originally the house of a Portuguese merchant who enjoyed raising pigeons. His house served as a beautiful backdrop to the hundreds of flying pigeons that he raised. From afar, the pavilions and buildings in the compound looked like nests. After the death of the merchant, his residence was donated to the government, commemorating the great Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes, which is where the name of the garden comes from.
Camoes Grotto, the most famous sight in the garden, houses the bust of the poet Luis de Camoes. Because of peeving the court officials, he was exiled from his country and lived in Macau for two years. He often came to the park and framed up his poems. Here he composed the noted epic Os Lusíadas (Soul of Portugal). Macau people show great respect to him. June 10th, the day Camoes died, was declared 'Portugal Day' by the government. On that day every year, Portuguese in Macau assemble in the park to celebrate the holiday and remember the poet.
The small mountains, the topping trees, the flourishing grass and flowers will all capture your imagination as you walk through the garden. Standing in the park is the bronze statue 'Embrace' which symbolizes the friendship between China and Portugal. As you walk along the winding paths, you will reach the highest point in the park, the Gazebo, where you can enjoy the striking views of the inner harbor. Looking north, you will see a man-made fountain built in 1990.
Camoes Garden is a popular spot for locals to do their morning exercises, to play chess, to walk their caged birds (a Chinese custom) or to meet with friends. It's an oasis in the busy city.