Ruins of St. Paul a popular spot in Macau, which represent the façade of the St. Paul Cathedral which was completed in the year 1580. This is an attraction that none of the traveler would want to miss. The St Paul’s Cathedral was the one that had an architecture blending renaissance and oriental style. It was the largest Catholic Church and was even called as Oriental Vatican and was affiliated to St Paul College. It is the first western university in Far East and enrolled a few foreign missionaries who were studying Chinese from its opening in the year 1594. It became an important base for the missionary work and promoted the exchange between Europe and China with respect to culture and religion. The ruins of St Paul looks like what it is after a fire incident in the year 1853. It is one among the eight attractions of Macau. Ruins of St Paul has baroque architecture. The oriental carvings of the Façade are seen plainly like Japanese and Chinese chrysanthemums and peonies. These carvings make this church look unique and stand out from the rest of the catholic churches. Cathedral is no more in the condition to use as only the façade remains but it is still a major part of the life of Macau citizens.
History of Ruins of St Paul
Ruins of St Paul can be regarded as witness of blend between Chinese and western cultures. More than 400 years ago, when the Portuguese invaded the city of Macau, they introduced Catholicism. The construction of the church started in the year 1562 and completed after years and was named after St Paul. The church was destroyed twice in fire and in the year 1602 it went through reconstruction for about 35 years. Ruins of St Paul had the documentation of the suffering and humiliation faced by Chinese during the era of Portuguese. The introduction of opium and human trafficking were the major havocs of the time.
Features of the Ruins of St Paul
Ruins of St Paul is 23 meters wide, 25.5 meters tall and has five tiers. It is made out of granite. Third tier and above has the travel with the base of 8.5 meters. The architecture is baroque style but there are carvings and works done in orient way too.
First tier of the church has ten Ionic orders. Lintels of small entrances have engravings like HIS and MTER DEI is found on main entrance which says Virgin Mary used to be enshrined in the church. The second tire has three windows and the 10 Corinthian orders each are lintel carved using along with seven roses. There are many other carvings too. Third tier is made with six hybrid pilasters and there is a niche where Virgin Mary is placed. Fourth tier has four hybrid Pilasters that has the shrine of Jesus. Fifth tier is the pediment of triangle shape which has a bronze pigeon with the cross in the middle.
The ruins of St Paul is indeed a great site to visit if one gets a chance to be in Macau for the historical and architectural significance of this place.