Ruins of St. Paul’s
The Ruins of St. Paul’s are the remnants of what was once the Church of Mater Dei built in 1602-1640 and destroyed by fire in 1835. The ruins of St. Paul’s College which stood adjacent to the Church still stand testament to one of the first western-style university’s in the Far East. The remnants of the church and college, and Mount Fortress, were all Jesuit construction projects forming what can be perceived as Macau’s “acropolis”. There is also the Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt here where visitors may see the archeological collections from the remnants of the church. The facade of the Ruins of St. Paul’s serve symbolically as an altar to the city in modern times.
Address: Company of Jesus Square
Opening hours: Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (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
History of the Ruins of St. Paul’s
The Church of Mater Dei was built in 1602-1640 by the Jesuits. It’s nearby collegiate was one of the largest Catholic churches in Asia at the time, and the royalty of Europe competed with each other to give it the best of gifts at its heyday. The importance of the Macau declined when it was overtaken as the main port for the Pearl River Delta by Hong Kong, and the buildings fortunes were similarly lost until it was eventually destroyed by fire during a typhoon on January 26th 1835. It has since seen the facade of the church supported by modern architectural and construction techniques due to its historical significance to Macau. The nearby remains of the old College of St. Paul stand as evidence of the first western-style university in the Far East, which once had an elaborate academic program.
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