Ruins of St. Paul, Macao

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    St Paul's Crypt Museum
    by Jim_Eliason
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    St Paul's Crypt Museum
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  • The Ruins of St Paul, Macau
    The Ruins of St Paul, Macau
    by cal6060
  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    The Ruins of St Paul's

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Oct 4, 2013

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    This monument is the most recognizable icon of Macua. The church built in the 17th century this was once considered the greatest christian church in Asia. The structure burnt down in 1835, leaving the facade you see today.

    Although the site has its charm, its hard to understand how this and not some of the existing very ornate churches like St Dominic's did not become the symbol of the city.

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    St Paul

    by solopes Updated Feb 13, 2013
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    I couldn't understand why the remains of a ruined church became the image of Macao! There are several wonderful examples of Portuguese architecture, at least so interesting as that facade. But... that's the way it is. We were there, hundreds moved around it all the time, and the rain didn't spoil much because the visit should always be quick.

    Reading about it I discovered that, built in the 16th century, it was the biggest cathedral in the east, sometimes called "eastern Vatican". Burnt in 1835, only the facade escaped from destruction, some people believing that it was a miracle.

    Mixing European, Chinese and Japanese details, it is, today, UNESCO heritage.

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    UNESCO SITE: The Ruins of St Paul

    by cal6060 Updated Sep 14, 2011
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    This is the most popular landmark in Macau. It was built in between 1602 to 1637, and designed by a Italian Jesuit with the assistant of a Japanese Christian artist named Nagasaki. In 1835, the church was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon. Only the facade remains together with impressive stone steps and the mosaic floors. The facade has a dove with wing outstretched on the top, followed by a women stepping on a seven-headed hydra, and four Jesuits' images with oriental themes at the bottom of the wall.

    There is a museum behind the wall.

    Don't miss...

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    Ruins of St. Paul's Church

    by thelittlevoice Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    All that remains of the greatest of Macau’s chruches is its magnificent stone facade and grand staircase. The church was built in 1602 adjoining the Jesuit College of St. Paul’s, the first Western college in the Far East where missionarie such as Matteo Ricci and dam Schall studied Chinese before serving at the Ming Court in Peking as astronomers and mathematicians. The church, made of taipa and wood, was brilliantly decorated and fiurnished, according to early travellers. The facade of carved stone was built 1620-27 by Japanese Christian exiles and local craftsmen under the direction of Italian Jesuit Carlo Spinola. After the expulsion of the Jesuits, the college was used as an army barracks and in 1835 a fire started in the kitchens and destroyed the college and the body of the church. The surviving facade rised in 4 colonnaded tiers, and is covered with carvings and statues which eloquently illustrate the early days of the Church in Asia. There are statues of the Virgin and saints, symbols of the Garden of Eden and the Crucifixion, angels and the devil, a Chinese dragon and a Japanese chrysanthemum, a Portuguese sailing ship and pious warning inscribed in Chinese.

    http://www.cityguide.gov.mo/tg/church/c_detaile.asp?lc=2&lkey=02020900000000000000

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  • MiZgHee's Profile Photo

    Ruins of St. Paul

    by MiZgHee Updated Mar 16, 2009
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    The Ruins of St. Paul's front façade and the grand stone stairs are the only remains of the greatest church in Macau. Nothing much to do here but take pictures and you MUST (it's one of the famous tourists spots in Macau). On the way, you'll find alot of shops, street stalls, hawkers, markets. Try some local food.

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  • hopang's Profile Photo

    Ruins of Saint Paul

    by hopang Updated Jan 8, 2009

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    The Ruins of St. Paul is basically a facade of the Cathedral of St. Paul. It was built in the early 17th Century by Jesuits. It was at one time the largest Catholic church in Asia. Today it is a great tourist attraction and is one of the most famous landmarks in Macao. The Ruins of St. Paul was designed as World Heritage Site by UNECO in 2005.

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    Ruins of the Church of St Paul

    by Willettsworld Written Oct 10, 2008

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    This is perhaps the most famous landmark of Macau and as such is a symbol for the country. The ruins of St Paul's refer to just the facade of what was originally the Church of Mater Dei built between 1602 and 1640, once one of the finest Christian buildings in the Far East. The church was built after the destruction of the first church by fire in 1601 and was modelled on the church of the Gesù in Rome. It was destroyed by fire in 1835 along with St. Paul's College, the first western-style university in the Far East, which stood adjacent to the church.

    Since 1904 various proposals have been put forward for the rebuilding of the church, but nothing has come of them. It is now planned to establish a museum recounting the story of the building and destruction of the church behind its still imposing facade after archaeological investigation of the site has been completed.

    The rich figural ornament on the facade is arranged in five registers. Above the main doorway is an inscription dedicating the church to the Mother of God. In the second register above this are figures of Jesuit saints, flanking the three windows. Above this is a profusion of relief ornament, ranging from a figure of the Virgin to dragons, skeletons and a variety of motifs both European and Asian. All this gives some inkling of how magnificent the church must once have been.

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  • Kay_Lina's Profile Photo

    Ruins of St. Paul

    by Kay_Lina Written Mar 5, 2008
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    The Ruins of St. Paul's (also known as Sam Ba Sing Tzik) stands adjacent to the famous Mount Fortress and Macau Museum. The front façade and the grand stone stairs are the only remains of the greatest church in Macau.

    First constructed in 1580, St. Paul's Church caught fires in 1595 and 1601. However, reconstruction started in 1602 soon after the church was burnt down. Completed in 1637, the church became the biggest Catholic Church in East Asia at that time. Unfortunately, a violent typhoon hit Macau in 1835 and the church caught fire for the third time leaving its glory a history

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    St paul Cathedral Ruins

    by machomikemd Written Jul 3, 2007

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    Saint Paul's Cathedral is a Portuguese 16th-century cathedral in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, in the People's Republic of China, dedicated to Saint Paul the apostle of Jesus. Today, its ruins IS Macau's most famous LANDMARK!.
    Built from 1582 to 1602 by the Jesuits, the Cathedral was the largest Catholic church in Asia at the time before the Manila Cathedral in the Philippines was established by the Spaniards, 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 fortune's similarly ebbed, and it was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon in 1835. The Fortaleza do Monte overlooks the ruin.
    The ruins now consist of the southern stone façade - intricately carved by Japanese Christians in exile from their homeland and local craftsmen between 1620 and 1627 under the direction of Italian Jesuit Carlo Spinola - and the crypts of the Jesuits who established and maintained the Cathedral. The façade sits on a small hill, with 66 stone steps leading to the façade.
    Ruins of St. Paul's in Macau contain a structure of five tiers. The opening tier is comprised of ten Ionic columns having three entrances. 'MATER DEI' is carved on the middle entrance. The two side entrances are adorned with bas-reliefs in the prototype of 'HIS'. The subsequent tier has ten Corinthian columns with three windows. The figures of a Catholic saint are engraved on each tabernacle between two columns. The enduring three tiers are the most ornamented. The effigy of Madonna stands at the third tier, while the sculpture of Jesus stands on the fourth. The walls are sheltered with bas-reliefs in assorted patterns like angels, symbols of crucifixion, devils and a Portuguese sailing ship. The triangular grouping of the upper three tiers replicates the Holy Trinity as well as the sacred Virgin Mary.

    It is part of the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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  • The Ruins of Sao Paulo

    by jlcurtis287 Written Jun 23, 2007

    By far the most interesting and unique site in Macau has to be the ruins of Sao Paulo (or St. Paul). Just a short walk from Largo do Senado, the ruins sit atop a hill of stairs. It's historical significance, once being regarded as the 'greatest Christian monument in East Asia', still draws plenty of tourists to climb the smattering of stairs to reach the top of Macau's most famous landmark.

    Only the facade of the original structure exists. The church had been destroyed in a fire several centuries earlier. It makes for a great picture; watch out for the throngs of tourists inevitably milling about.

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  • krc's Profile Photo

    Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral

    by krc Written Jan 27, 2007

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    Ruins of St. Paul's

    St. Paul's Cathedral is among Macua's most famous sites, but 10 minutes and a couple photos is all that's needed for the casual observer. All that's left of the historic church is a facade. What remains is grand and inspirational to be sure, but there's just not much to see. So, hop out the taxi, climb the stairs on the back of the facade and take in the view, go around to the front and take 2 photos, then walk across the street and spend a couple hours at Monte Fort and the Museum of Macau.

    Admission is free and the view is good.

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  • pamychan's Profile Photo

    Ruins of St Paul (aka "dai san bah" in cantonese)

    by pamychan Written Dec 22, 2006

    We got lost trying to find this place even though it was supposed to be one the most popular attractions in Macau. It all started with us getting off at the wrong stop and "acting smart", thinking we could find our way there by walking. The roads in Macau are scary. There seems to be absolutely no road planning system in place. Road signs are seldom visible and if they are, most are pointing to extremely vague directions. We walked UPHILL to the end of a really long road which looked like a main road and ended up at another main road which lead to dont know where! Fortunately all (all that i saw had it but i'm not exactly sure if all of them really have it) had really detailed bus guides of the buses. But again, the buses seem to be always going round and round the same area. We sat in the bus for almost an hr before finally reaching the stop we were supposed to get off. Fortunately the bus driver noticed our confused faces and told us exaclty where to get off. One thing to note, i suspect most of the bus,taxi drivers dont speak english so it helps if u know how to say the name of the place u want to go in cantonese or at least chinese.

    Anyway about the attraction itself, it looks juct like in the pictures. Quite nice to look at but being the history ignorant travellers we were, we just took some pictures and proceeded to the shopping street below it.

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Ruins of St. Paul's Church

    by SLLiew Written Oct 19, 2006

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    What is left is just the facade of the Church. The church itself was built in 1637 but since then it was burnt by fire 3 times and the last in 1853.

    To reach the church, there is a long series of steps. Behind the facade is a stairway and so you can peer down for an excellent view from the facade.

    This facade has been a major historic and tourist landmark of Macao. One must see it when in Macao.

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    St Paul's Ruins

    by keeweechic Updated Aug 20, 2006

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    The ruins are regarded as the symbol of Macau. All that remains of the greatest of Macau's churches is its magnificent stone facade and grand staircase. Built in 162-27 by Japanese Christian exiles and local craftsmen. Fire unfortunately destroyed the remains of the church in 1835. The surviving frontage is covered with carvings and statues which demonstrate the early days of the Church in Asia. Inside there are statues of the Virgin and saints, along with symbols of the Garden of Eden and the crucifixion, angles and devil. Then the church covers the Asian touch such as a Chinese dragon, a Japanese chrysanthemum, a Portuguese sailing ship and pious warnings inscribed in Chinese. When the restoration work was completed, and this lasted from 1990 to 1995, the back side of the Ruins of St. Paul's was turned into a museum called Sacred Art Museum.

    Behind St. Paul's facade there is a new museum called Sacred Art Museum.

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  • morgagni's Profile Photo

    Picture taking in front of St. Paul's Ruins

    by morgagni Written May 1, 2006

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    You definitely CANNOT leave Macau without having your picture taken in front of the most famous landmark of the city...the Ruinas de Sao Paulo or St. Paul's Ruins! Ravaged by a fire more than 100 years ago, what is left of the church today is just the facade.

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