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“Amazing piece of history, worth a photo!”

Ruins of St. Paul's
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Owner description: Considered Macau’s most famous landmark, the ruins of this 16th-century cathedral features a spectacular façade with intricate carvings by Japanese monks.
Reviewed August 2, 2013

Right in the heart of macau recommend start at senado square and walk up to the ruins great architecture to see along the way, what's left of the cathedral looks fantastic with the sun behind it.

Thank Andrew T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 30, 2013

The Ruins of St. Peter's refers to the ruins of a 16th-century complex in Macau.


The facade of St. Peter's Cathedral by Wilhelm Heine, 1854
Built from 1582 to 1602 by the Jesuits, the cathedral was one of the largest Catholic churches 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, and it was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon in 1835. The Fortaleza do Monte overlooks the ruin.
Features



Behind the façade are remains of the original pillars and a shrine
The ruins now consist of the southern stone façade—intricately carved between 1620 and 1627 by Japanese Christians in exile from their homeland and local craftsmen 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 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.

Resisting calls for the dangerously leaning structure to be demolished, from 1990 to 1995 the ruins were excavated under the auspices of the Instituto Cultural de Macau to study its historic past. The crypt and the foundations were uncovered, revealing the architectural plan of the building. Numerous religious artifacts were also found together with the relics of the Japanese Christian martyrs and the monastic clergy, including the founder of the Jesuit college in Macau, Father Alessandro Valignano. The ruins were restored by the Macanese government into a museum, and the facade is now buttressed with concrete and steel in a way which preserves the aesthetic integrity of the facade. A steel stairway allows tourists to climb up to the top of the facade from the rear. It is customary to throw coins into the top window of the ruins from the stairs, for luck.

1  Thank trippertone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

The ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral is not only the symbol of Macau, but is also the only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by the Jesuits, it occupied the Mount Fortress on the most prominent hill in Macau, and was the center of the Portuguese religious and spiritual life there for hundreds of years.

It burned down several times, and was rebuilt several times but after the last devastating fire, has stood in ruins.

It is an ominous "must see" site in Macau.

It's also only a 15 minute walk from where I live in Macau, so I get to see it a lot.

1  Thank Ironclad35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

One of the must see attractions in Macau. It is a place where locals and visitors go. The preceding area is filled with stores selling Macanese goodies, furniture and art. Grab some jerky or almond cookies and climb the stairs.

Thank Yardie65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is an important historic site worth a visit for first time visitors of Macao. It is said to be classified as a world heritage historic site.

Thank brakaba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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