Ruins of St. Paul


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.