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Home Macau Travel Guide Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral – A Spectacular Piece of History in Macau City Center

Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral – A Spectacular Piece of History in Macau City Center

Cathedral is known as “大三巴牌坊” in Chinese and “Ruínas de São Paulo” in Portuguese. It’s a remnant of the 17th-century Catholic Church of St. Paul in Macau, China. It was once the largest church in Asia and a component of the Jesuit College of St. Paul.

Tragically, a fire in 1835 ravaged the church, and today, only a stone façade and the 68 stone steps leading up to it are left. The magnificent façade has stood as a witness of the blend of Eastern and Western cultures in Macau.

On it, there are carvings and statues depicting symbolic elements such as Virgin Mary standing upon a dragon, a Chinese inscription, a Portuguese ship, and emblems associated with the Jesuit Order.

As one of Macau’s most renowned landmarks, Ruins of St. Paul’s is included in the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World, as well as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Historic Centre of Macau.

Fast Facts about Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral

  • Location: on St. Paul’s Road (Rua de Sao Paulo), Macau, China
  • Hours: all day for the façade; 09:00 to 18:00 for the Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt
  • Ticket price: free
  • Recommended visit time: about an hour
  • Best time to visit: all year round
  • Suited to: photographers and those interested in history, culture, religion

 

Macau The Ruins of the St Paul Cathedral
The Ruins of the St Paul Cathedral

Cathedral is known as “大三巴牌坊” in Chinese and “Ruínas de São Paulo” in Portuguese. It’s a remnant of the 17th-century Catholic Church of St. Paul in Macau, China. It was once the largest church in Asia and a component of the Jesuit College of St. Paul.

Tragically, a fire in 1835 ravaged the church, and today, only a stone façade and the 68 stone steps leading up to it are left. The magnificent façade has stood as a witness of the blend of Eastern and Western cultures in Macau.

On it, there are carvings and statues depicting symbolic elements such as Virgin Mary standing upon a dragon, a Chinese inscription, a Portuguese ship, and emblems associated with the Jesuit Order.

As one of Macau’s most renowned landmarks, Ruins of St. Paul’s is included in the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World, as well as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Historic Centre of Macau.

Fast Facts about Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral

  • Location: on St. Paul’s Road (Rua de Sao Paulo), Macau, China
  • Hours: all day for the façade; 09:00 to 18:00 for the Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt
  • Ticket price: free
  • Recommended visit time: about an hour
  • Best time to visit: all year round
  • Suited to: photographers and those interested in history, culture, religion

 

Macau Ruins of St. Paul's
Marvel at the ornate façade

Best Time to Visit Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral

The best time to travel to Macau and visit Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral is generally from October to December. During these months, the weather is cool, clear, and sunny with reduced rainfall.

It’s also the peak tourist season in Macau when exciting festivals and events take place, including Macau Food Festival, Macau International Music Festival, Macau Light Festival. But it’s important to note that traveling expenses may be higher and the city gets more crowded.

Spring, specifically from March to April, is also a good time to visit Macau. The weather is mild. Flowers start to bloom around the city. It is considered off season for tourism in Macau. You can avoid large crowds. However, it might get foggy occasionally.

How to Get to Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral

By plane: If you are flying to Macau, your destination will be Macau International Airport on Taipa Island. From there, you can take a bus or taxi to Ruins of St. Paul’s.

By ferry: If you’re traveling from Hong Kong, board a ferry to either Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal or Taipa Ferry Terminal. The ferry journey usually takes around an hour and costs HK$170-200 ($22-26) for an economy-class ticket. Then take either a bus or taxi to Ruins of St. Paul’s.

By taxi: There are plenty of taxi services across Macau that will take you directly to Ruins of St. Paul’s from pretty much anywhere. The taxi fare is calculated based on a meter, with an initial charge of MOP 19 ($2.4) and an additional MOP 2 ($0.25) every 240 meters (787 feet). Moreover, there is a surcharge of MOP 3 ($0.38) per piece of luggage.

By bus: Buses NO. 8A, 18A, 18B, 18, 19, and 26 will all take you to Camoes Square, which is only a short walk from Ruins of St. Paul’s. The bus fare for each ride is about MOP 6 ($0.75). Additionally, some casinos and hotels offer free shuttle buses to Senado Square, which is nearby the ruins.

Attractions nearby Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral

  • Monte Forteis the oldest fort in Macau. It was originally part of St. Paul’s Cathedral built in 1616 to defend the church from the pirates. It later became a military fort. Standing on its platform, you’ll have a great panoramic view over Macau.
  • Na Tcha Templeis a small colorful Taoist temple honoring Chinese folk deity Na Tcha. It is close to Ruins of St. Paul’s. It’s interesting to see the contrast in size, architecture, and culture between the two structures.
  • Senado Squarehas been Macao’s urban centre for centuries and is still the most popular venue for public events and celebrations today. Around the square are Portuguese-style pastel-coloured buildings with arched windows, doors, and corridors. Together with distinctive mosaic wavy tiled paving, the square has a Mediterranean atmosphere.

Recommended Macau Tours

Plan your Macau trip now with China Xian Tour. We can help you with a customized tour to Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

 

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