Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral

The Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral are Macau's most famous landmark. This spectacular facade, perched atop one of the island's seven hills, is the symbol of Macau and an image which was projected throughout China leading up to the hand-over in December 1999.

Ruins of St. Paul’s CathedralRuins of St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral was first built in the 17th Century, the design of an Italian Jesuit and the work of Japanese Christians. This mammoth and spectacular building dominated the city until 1835 when it was savagely destroyed by fire and only the facade, the mosaic floor and stone steps approaching the building survived. In fact, the ruins of St. Paul's are still impressive and inspiring despite this destruction, perhaps even more so as a result of the devastation. The magnificent and delicately carved facade looms over visitors as they climb the steps from the Rua de Sao Paulo. The facade depicts various scenes from Christianity, harmoniously combining the style which is the epitome of Macau- a combination of renaissance and oriental art and design. Even today, the ruins are held to be the most impressive monument to Christianity in the east.

Behind the facade is Saint Paul's Museum which houses various religious relics and artifacts including the tomb of the Jesuit monk who designed the Cathedral and is accredited with introducing Christianity to Japan.

Museum Opening hours: Daily 9am to 6pm (except Tuesday). Entrance is free.

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