The Ruins of St. Paul's
Rua de B. Carneiro, Macau, Macau
The Ruins of St. Paul's Macau Reviews
The Icon of Macau Jan 25, 2012
My first goal of my short stay in Macau was The Ruins of St. Paul's that to was one of the few historical monuments that I know about the place besides the infamous casinos. The taxi dropped me off just next to the ruin and I was stunning by the number of people that was visiting this landmark. It was the week of the Chinese New Year and it looked like thousands of mainland Chinese people had this place on their must do, just like I had.
The ruins of the 16th century complex includes what was originally St. Paul's College and the Cathedral of St. Paul also known as "Mater Dei", that was a 17th century Portuguese cathedral dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle. This place must be the Icon of Macau even though some of the new casinos and the Macau Sky Tower are fighting for that position.
The cathedral was original built from 1582 to 1602 by the Jesuits, and the cathedral was the largest Catholic Church in Asia at the time, and the royalty of Europe vied with each other to bestow upon the cathedral the best gifts. With the decline in importance of Macau, which was overtaken as the main port for the Pearl River Delta by Hong Kong, the cathedral's fortunes similarly ebbed. A fire destroyed the cathedral during a typhoon in 1835 and today only the entrance wall is standing tall overlooking this constantly growing place.
Looking down towards the narrow streets in front of The Ruins of St. Paul's was truly spectacular as it was impossible to see the end of all the people visiting this place; I could not help laughing, as this was almost more spectacular than the ruin itself.
The façade sits on a small hill, with 66 stone steps leading up to it. The carvings include Jesuit images with Oriental themes, such as a woman stepping on a seven-headed hydra, described by Chinese characters as “Holy Mother tramples the heads of the dragon”. A few of the other carvings are the founders of the Jesuit Order, the conquest of Death by Jesus, and at the very top, a dove with wings outstretched.
In 2005, they were officially enlisted as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Macau.
Part of the Hong Kong, Macau & Doha in a swift week 2012 travel blog
Part of the list Hong Kong & Macao sights
Part of the list Transportation around the world
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