Ruins of St. Paul's, also known as Ruínas da Antiga Catedral de São Paulo in Portuguese, is located central area of Macau Special Administrative Region, China. Ruins of St. Paul's is actually the wall ruin in front of the old St. Paul's Cathedral. It features a spectacular façade with intricate carvings by Japanese monks. As one of the most classic tourism sites in Macau, the ruins of St. Paul’s, somehow, is considered the landmark of Macau and a must visit site in the city.
Firstly completed at the year 1580, the church of St. Paul and its surrounding architecture combined Renaissance-style and oriental-style in harmonious way, reflecting the blend of western and eastern architecture art with fine carving and towering spectacular facade. Experienced the baptism of fire for three times, this well decorated and furnished church been destroyed and only the stone facade can tell people its brilliant glories in the old times. In 2005, The Ruins of St. Paul’s was officially listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Historic Centre of Macau. The stone façade was designed to five layers. The first layer or the top is a triangle Doorcase decoration; the second layer is carved with a Jesus stone figure; the 3rd layer shows the "Virgin Holy Days" scene; the 4th layer is consecrated four saints; “MATER DEI” is carved on the lintel of the main door of the 5th layer.
The Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt was built at the bottom of the Ruins of St. Paul's and is home to many religious artifacts and works, including Sino-Portuguese crucifixes, as well as a 17th century painting of St. Michael Archangel - the only surviving work from the original college. Admission to the museum is free between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm every day.
Hundreds of years of ago, Macau was invaded and occupied by Portuguese. And Catholicism was brought into Macau. The complex of St. Paul’s College and the Cathedral of St. Paul was originally built in the 16th century, but burned down afterwards. In 1602, the Cathedral of St. Paul was rebuilt, and the reconstruction process took 35 years and was not completed until 1637. Afterwards, it was rebuilt multiple times before the third and final fire during a typhoon on January 26th, 1835. And it was burned for two hours and the fire left it beyond repair. All that remains are the iconic stone façade and the grand staircase leading up to it.
Restored into a museum, the façade is buttressed from behind, allowing tourists to climb up to the windows to get a closer look at the stone carvings and to enjoy a panoramic view of the city below.