St Lawrence church is among the oldest churches located in Macau. It is one among those churches that are left behind as the memorial of the Portuguese rule and their culture. The church forms an imposing structure located in the garden which is filled with palm trees. The church can be approached from both behind or through the ornamental gate and the grand staircase. It was one of the churches that had great relevance to the families of sailors.
History of St Lawrence Church
St Lawrence church at Macau is the one which has a great historical significance in Macau and it comes under the Heritage Site of Macau. It is a beautiful church that was constructed in the year 1569. The church was then built with wood and later in 1618; it got reconstructed using clay as wood was not found to be a good option for long life. The St Lawrence church again went through another renovation in the year 1846 when the whole church got reconstructed with stone. The current look of the church is as per the construction happened in 1846. The church is indeed a great symbol of how Portuguese tried to spread the religion of Christianity in Macau. There are many other churches too in the place.
Architecture of St Lawrence Church
The St Lawrence church is the one which has followed the neo classical architectural style. The major façade of the church can be found to be divided to three sections. The center of the church is flanked by two square towers which are about 21 meters tall. The central part of main façade has a pediment interrupted within center by the oval emblem. The ground plan of the church is completely in the shape of the Latin cross. The ground plan measures 37 meters by 29 meters. Two interior chapels’ are houses in the shorter arms of the church building. The main nave inside forms the longer extension of the church. Main altar that one can find in the church is separated by vaulted arch.
The interior of the church is very rich with beautiful carvings and embellishments. The magnificent wooden ceiling is painted with turquoise with the beams in white and gold colors that hand the elegant chandeliers. High altar of the church has the handsome figure of the St Lawrence in the gorgeous vestments. Above the figure a crown held by the cherub is hanged and there is a stained glass window behind it that has the image of dove which symbolizes Holy Spirit.
The Significance of the Church
The church has got the name Feng Shun Tang which means Church of smooth sailing wind as it was the place where the families of sailors prayed for their return. One of the church towers was used as ecclesiastic prison.
St Lawrence church is indeed a historic spot worth visiting during the trip to Macau.