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Ruins of St. Paul's

Ruins of St. Paul's is the most famous structure and landmark in Macau city, located near Mount Fortress and Macau Museum The magnificent facade and grand stone stairs are the only remains of the St. Paul's Church, crowning the top of a hill in the center of the city and approached by a grand sweep of stairs.

St. Paul's Church was first built in 1580, but the fires in 1591 and 1601 did great harm to the church. The reconstruction started in year 1602, and made it the biggest Catholic Church in East Asia of that time. But the violent typhoon in 1835 hit Macau and the third fire happened and leaving the ruins only.

The surviving facade rises in 5 colonnaded tiers, and is covered with carvings and statues which eloquently illustrate the early days of the Church in Asia. The statue of Madonna stands in the middle of the third tier, while the statue of Jesus stands like devils, angels, symbols of crucifixion, a Portuguese sailing ship, etc. The triangular combination of the upper three tiers reflects the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) as well as the Blessed Virgin Mary. A cross stands at the coping of the wall.

The stone lions at the sides of the third and fourth tiers are distinctively Chinese. There are also bas-relief in designs of chrysanthemum and cherry, as well as Chinese inscriptions. It is perfect fusion of western and eastern cultures.

To the left of Ruins of St. Paul's are tiny Na Tcha Temple and a remnant of Macau's old city wall, also listed in Historic Centre of Macao and protected as World Heritage Sites.

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