Ruins of Saint Paul’s, Macau – 大三巴牌坊, 澳門

One of the main attractions in Macau are the ruins of Ruins of St. Paul’s (大三巴牌坊), a must-see landmark in the city, maybe the most iconic.

Ruins of St. Paul's

In fact, the remains of this place (now only a facade and a crypt) are from Madre de Deus cathedral. The rest of it, including a University complex, were known as St. Paul’s College of Macau, and all of it was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon in 1835. Because of the decline of Macau as the main port of the Pearl River delta in favor of Hong Kong, it was not reconstructed afterwards.

Now, these remnants are popularly known just as St. Paul’s ruins, also as Sam Ba Sing Tzik. Back at its time, it was one of the first and most important places for Christianity in China, thus in Asia. Taking a look at the facade and you’ll see a mix of oriental and occidental decoration, and as a the most representative one, the Christian ‘Holy Mother’ trampling the head of a dragon.

But as many touristic places, is the neighborhood what makes the walk up there worthy: going from Senado Square up to this ruins there’s the option of using the Rua da Ressurreição, one of the many old, cobble-stoned and  narrow streets of the historic center of Macau, where all the shops are tourist-focused, from Macanese and Chinese delicacies to souvenirs and other trinkets, everything away from the casino’s blinking lights.

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One comment

  1. “The Holy Mother trampling the head of a dragon” cool detail! I did not see it when I visited Macau. You’re right, the ruins of Sao Paulo cathedral are truly iconic, but I was overwhelmed by the constant flow of Chinese tourists. Same at Largo do Senado or A-Ma Temple.
    Other UNESCO listed monuments I visited recently in China (the old town of Lijiang, the Kaiping watchtowers) were also overcrowded.

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