Ruins of Saint Paul's

Macau, Macao

Ruins of Saint Paul's

8.6

The Ruins of Saint Paul's (Chinese: 大三巴牌坊; Portuguese: Ruínas de São Paulo) are the ruins of a 17th-century Catholic religious complex in Santo António, Macau, China. They include what was originally St. Paul's College and the Church of St. Paul (Igreja de São Paulo) also known as "Mater Dei", a 17th-century Portuguese church dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle. Today, the ruins are one of Macau's best known landmarks and one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World. In 2005, they were officially listed as part of the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Built from 1602 to 1640 by the Jesuits, the church was one of the largest Catholic churches in Asia at the time. With the decline in importance of Macau, which was overtaken as the main port for the Pearl River Delta by Hong Kong, the building's fortunes similarly ebbed, and it was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon on 26 January 1835. The Fortaleza do Monte overlooks the ruin. This could have been due to Francesco Melzi showing the codex to Carlo Spinola in Milan or by the architect Giacomo della Porta (connected to Leonardo's Codex, formerly Codex Leicester, now owned by Bill Gates) who designed the façade of the Church of the Gesù in Rome.

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