Ruins of St. Paul's

2009-12-01 15:58 BJT

Location : Rua de S. Paulo

All that remains of the greatest of Macau's chruches is its magnificent stone façade 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 façade 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 façade 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.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: