Ruins of St. Paul's
Built in the 1602 by Jesuit priests, the church was originally St. Paul's College and the Cathedral of St. Paul also known as "Mater Dei" and was destroyed by fire in 1835, now only the massive stone facade survived. It has gone though the fire for 3 times and witnessed the history of Macao. Today the Ruins of St. Paul is the official symbol of Macau and offer great photo ops. It was one of the most famous landmarks of Macau and was listed as part of the Historic Centre of Macau and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It took the Jesuits about twenty years to build the cathedral and it used to be the largest Catholic churches in Asia at that time. Since Hong Kong becoming the main port for the Pearl River Delta, the importance of Macau decline and the so is the fortunes of the cathedral. On 26 January, 1835 the church was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon.
While visiting the Ruins of the St. Paul's, in addition to enjoy the spectacular towering wall, one should also ponder the significance of the exquisite wall. The stone and the crypts of the Jesuits are the main parts of the Ruins of the St. Paul's. Between 1620 and 1627, the Japanese Christians in exile from their home and local craftsmen under the direction of Italian Jesuit Carlo Spinola intricately carved the stones. Dragon is the symbol of sacred in Chinese culture while in western culture, it symbolize evilness, which explains the Jesuit images with Oriental themes like a woman stepping on a seven-headed hydra, described in Chinese characters as 'Holy Mother tramples the heads of the dragon'.
Now, the Ruins of St. Paul has become one of the symbols of Macao. Many tourists like to take a wedding picture as a souvenir.