Classified Immovable Properties

    MM008-Ruins of St. Paul’s College (Former Mater Dei Church, forecourt and staircase)

    Location: Macao

    Category: Monuments

    Introduction: Largo da Companhia de Jesus

    The Ruins of St. Paul’s refers to the façade of what was originally the Church of Mater Dei built in 1602-1640 and the archaeological remains of St. Paul’s College, which stood adjacent to the Church, both destroyed by a fire in 1835. The facade of the Ruins of St. Paul’s measures 23 metres across and 25.5 metres high. The design of this church façade is unique in the world, as it is one that integrates oriental decorative motifs on a western Baroque-Mannerist façade. The façade is sub-divided into five horizontal levels that have an ascending reading order. The insignia of the Jesuits is inscribed above the doorways of the side entrances, while the Latin name of the Church of Mater Dei meaning the “Mother of God” is engraved above the central entrance. On the level above the entrance are four bronze statues of Jesuits saints, Francisco de Borja, Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier and Luís Gonzaga. The statue of the Virgin Mary is found in the next level up, flanked by a seven-headed hydra, a skeleton, a Portuguese merchant ship and a winged demon, with various inscriptions in Chinese that convey biblical messages. At both ends of this level are Chinese lions jugging out the façade below the pinnacles. On the next upper level, the statue of Jesus Christ as a child is located, surrounded by the Passion tools. A dove representing the Holy Spirit is found at the centre of the triangular pediment and a Latin cross crowns the ensemble. The overall composition presents a fusion of different influences, on a global, regional and local scale.

    Cultural Facilities:

    Museum of Sacred Art and the Crypt

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