The Ruins of Saint Paul's: blend of western and eastern architecture |

Ten must-visit attractions in Macao

The Ruins of Saint Paul's: blend of western and eastern architecture

Updated: Dec 19, 2019 Print

The Ruins of Saint Paul's

The Ruins of St. Paul's, also known as Ruínas da Antiga Catedral de São Paulo in Portuguese, is located in the central area of Macao, China. [Photo/VCG]
The Ruins of St. Paul's is actually the wall ruin in front of the old St. Paul's Cathedral. It features a spectacular façade with intricate carvings by Japanese monks. [Photo/VCG]
One of the most classic tourism sites in Macao, the ruins of St. Paul’s is considered a city landmark and must-visit site. [Photo/VCG]

First completed in 1580, the church of St. Paul’s and its surrounding structures harmoniously combine Renaissance and oriental styles, blending western and eastern architecture with fine carving and a towering spectacular façade.

Having experienced a baptism of fire three times, this well decorated and furnished church was finally destroyed and now only the stone façade can tell people about its brilliant glories of the past.

In 2005, The Ruins of St. Paul’s was officially listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Historic Centre of Macao.

The stone façade was designed in five layers. The first layer or the top is a triangle door frame decoration; the second layer is carved with a Jesus stone figure; the 3rd layer shows a "Virgin Holy Days" scene; the 4th layer is consecrated to four saints; and “MATER DEI” is carved on the lintel of the main door of the 5th layer.

The Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt was built at the bottom of the Ruins of St. Paul's and is home to many religious artifacts and works, including Sino-Portuguese crucifixes, as well as a 17th century painting of St. Michael Archangel - the only surviving work from the original college.

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