Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt
Found at the bottom end of the inner region of St. Paul’s Ruins where the once magnificent church and the College of St. Pauls once stood – you will find the Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt. This place evokes the rich history of the pious missionaries of the region, and contains the relics of the College of St. Paul and the gifts once bestowed upon this history rich Church by the royalties of Europe in it’s heyday.
Destroyed by a major fire in a typhoon in 1835, the crypt was built on the old site of the chancel of the original church. On the sidewalls visitors can see the remains of Japanese and Vietnamese martyrs of religious freedom. The list of their names can be found outside the Crypt. As a sacred destination, a cross and a tabernacle have been places on the stones, facing an altar upon which rests a single marble stone.
Found in the room adjacent to the Crypt is the Museum of Sacred Art, which exhibits objects of high historical and artistic value to the Catholic religion and to what was once the Church of St. Paul. The collection includes pieces dating from the 16th to 19th century all of strong historical value. It is worth noting the beautiful collection of Sino-Portuguese crucifixes carved of ivory, wood and silver, as well as the numerous liturgical vessels in silver – Chalices, incense boats, plates known as patens, pyxides and reliquaries are all among the display.
There are many intricate and beautiful Indo-Portuguese paintings and statues of a religious nature on display here. Visitors should take notice of St. Michael Archangel, painted in the 17th century using Western techniques and modeled on a Japanese disciple of the Jesuit Giovanni Nicollo. It’s significance stands out among the collection not only for its antiquity and imposing status but also because it is the only work of art from the original college to survive the fire that destroyed much of this ancient historical site in 1835. In the center of the room you will find a unique silver picture frame which carried Our Lady of Remedies, distinguished by its neoclassical lines, it portrays the styling of the late Baroque period Rococo methods of artistry.
Address: St. Paul’s Ruins
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (except Tuesday afternoon), no admission after 5:30 p.m. (Tuesdays: closed after 2 p.m. Open as usual on public holidays.)
Bus routes nearby: 3, 3X, 4, 6A, 8A, 18A, 19, 26A, 33, N1A
A Note to Visitors:
It is well advised that any visitor also explore the surrounding area and the Ruins as well as the Crypt and museum in order to observe the foundations of the original naves of the church, the old graves, and foundations of the old college as they stand in the present day.
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