St. Dominic’s Church

Largo de São Domingos, Macau

St. Dominic’s Church

Originally founded in 1587 this is the site where the first Portuguese newspaper was published on Chinese Soil, (A Abelha da China) or the China Bee, published on September 12th 1822. The bell tower at the rear of the building has been modified into a small Museum of Sacred Art, exhibiting a collection of roughly 300 artifacts of the regions significance.


All credit goes to nekotank on Flickr under the CC license

Address: St. Dominic’s Square
Opening hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Bus routes nearby: 3, 3X, 4, 6A, 8A, 18A, 19, 26A, 33, N1A


History of St. Dominic’s Church

St. Dominic’s Church was founded in 1587 by three Spanish Dominican priests originally hailing from Acapulco in Mexico, this church is strongly bonded with the Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Rosary. It was at this church that the first Portuguese newspaper was published on Chinese soil, A Abelha da China or “The China Bee” on September 12th 1822.

In 1929, this church integrated the worship of Our Lady of Fatima into its religious services, based on the account of a miraculous sighting by three shepherd boys witnessed in Fatima, Portugal. After the establishment of this church in Macau, it was through this church that the popularity of the cult of Our Lady of Fatima spread to Shiu-Hing, Timor, Singapore, and Malacca.

Architecture of St. Dominic’s Church

The church is decorated with intricate white plaster ornaments and moldings around the facade of the church, in contrast with the walls rendered in a bright yellow. These designs characterize the main elevation of St. Dominic’s Church. The facade is divided into four horizontal levels and three vertical sections, the central section, topped with a pediment decorated with an oval relief carrying the religious insignia of the Dominican Order.

Corinthian columns and louvered windows punctuate the elevation with a delicate rhythm. Decorative panels between the columns are adorned with fine stucco relief work in exquisite patterns, that are matched by proportionate pilasters lending the church a sense of elegance and grace. The church consists of the nave, the chancel and the three story bell tower, seen close to the sacristy area, near the rear of the structure, with a choir overhanging the entrance. The interior of the church is divided into three sections by two rows of Corinthian inspired pillars connected by brick arches. Side openings on the ground floor give way to a corridor ont he right side of the church’s nave, which gives access to both the sacristy and the bell tower.

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