Something to share in every single week throughout the year

Week 36 – Little Story About Macau (9/12)

Ruins St. Paul
The church was built in 1602 adjoining the Jesuit College of St. Paul which was the first Western college in the Far East. The church was made of wood and it was brilliantly decorated and furnished. The facade of carved stone was built in 1620-1627 by Japanese Christian craftsmen, and it was built under the direction of Italian Jesuit Carlo Spinola.

Later, the Jesuits were expelled, and unfortunately, the college was used as an army barracks. In 1835, a fire destroyed the college and the body of the church, leaving only its very large facade and the front stairways. The surviving facade rises in 4 colonnaded tiers, and is covered with carvings and statues that illustrate the early days of the Catholic Church in Asia. There are statues of the Virgin and the Saints, symbols of the Garden of Eden and the crucifixion, and carvings of angels and the devil, a Chinese dragon and Japanese chrysanthemum, a Portuguese sailing ship, and inscriptions written in Chinese characters to warn people.

The facade seemed about to topple, but it was girded with steel, and at the back side of the ruins, a museum was built in 1995. There is a crypt that has the remains of Japanese and Vietnamese martyrs, and there is a museum of sacred art with paintings, sculptures and liturgical objects.

The facade is 27 meters tall, 23.5 meters wide and 2.7 meters thick. The top floor is a triangle lintel under a cross; in the middle of the lintel is a copper dove. The dove is surrounded by the sun, moon, and stars. There is a statue of the baby Jesus Christ with the tools that were used to nail him to the cross. The major figures portrayed in the lintel are the Virgin Mary, the Holy Father, some Holy Saints, and Jesus Christ. The middle two floors reflect missionary endeavor.

16 responses

  1. Glad to know that Japanese craftsmen made this great architecture. Nice photo. πŸ˜€

    September 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    • Yes, Japanese craftsmen are are incredible!!!! πŸ˜€

      September 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm

  2. Captivating story with a spectacular picture. Have a great weekend.

    September 15, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    • Thank you, and have a great weekend too! πŸ˜€

      September 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm

  3. This is a great shot you took of the church, Cristina. I went to a Jesuit university. Nice to know there is one in Macau.

    September 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    • There was. πŸ˜€

      September 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      • “Was” seems to imply many sad stories.

        September 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm

  4. Beautiful strucure, love the ghosting effect you used.

    September 16, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    • Thank you! ^0^ It was fun, adding the effect!

      September 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm

  5. A very cool effect, Cristina! Did you ‘zoom’ in / out while the shutter was open to create this?!

    September 17, 2013 at 3:05 am

    • Yes Yes, I did that! πŸ˜€

      September 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

  6. Very interesting story, and a creative image! Well done, Cristina. It’s good that some old things remain intact and protected, appreciated.

    September 17, 2013 at 6:36 am

    • I love old buildings too, they are the history πŸ˜€

      September 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

  7. What a beautiful image and interesting story! I love the double exposure effect!

    September 18, 2013 at 1:39 am

    • Thank you, Helen! πŸ˜€

      September 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

  8. That’s a great image.

    Thanks for sharing your history too. πŸ™‚

    September 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm

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