St. Paul 's Cathedral was a Portuguese 16th-century cathedral built
from 1582 to 1602 by the Jesuits, in the former Portuguese colony
of Macao, now in the People's Republic of China . Today, its ruins
are one of Macao 's most famous landmarks.
The ruins consist of the southern stone façade - intricately
carved between 1620 and 1627 by Japanese Christians in exile from
their homeland, and local craftsmen under the direction of Italian
Jesuit Carlo Spinola. The façade sits on a small hill, with
66 stone steps leading up to it.
The ruins were restored by the Macanese government into a museum,
and the façade is now buttressed with concrete and steel
in a way which preserves its aesthetic integrity. Since 2005, the
ruins have been protected as part of the Historic Centre of Macao,
a UNESCO World Heritage Site.