Ruins of St. Paul's Church

Ruins of St. Paul's

Only the facade of Macau's most famous historical monument remains, but perhaps that is why the ruins of St. Paul's Church are so famous.

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The site, also known as the "Mater Dei", is located in the middle of historic Macau, and apart from the monument itself, it offers extremely interesting views of Macau full of contrasts. In one shot, you'll see historic buildings, ordinary apartment blocks built in the 1980s and modern skyscrapers in the background.

The ruins of St. Paul's are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the entire historic centre of Macau.

What happened to St. Paul's Church?

The church was built between 1602 and 1640 by the Jesuit order during the Spanish-Portuguese domination of Macau. At the time, St. Paul's Church in Macau was one of the largest Christian churches in all of Asia.

The total destruction of the church was caused by a fire during a typhoon on 26 January 1835.

Only the front facade of the building remained intact, the rest of the building was completely destroyed and was never rebuilt.

What will you see around the church facade?

The remains of the church stand on a hill in the middle of the historic centre and thanks to the open square with 68 steps, the ruins offer beautiful views without obstructions.

The square is the most visited place in Macau with crowds of tourists wanting to take selfies with the facade in the background.

The best time to visit is in the early morning when there are few people in the square. Most people head to the church in the early evening, when the façade turns golden thanks to the rays of the setting sun, and then turns orange thanks to the spotlights.

Behind the façade, in the former interior of the church, you can see the foundations of the building for free, and for an entrance fee you can also visit the remains of the crypt and a small museum.

Just a few metres from the church, don't forget to visit the Monte do Forte fortress with its breathtaking views of the whole of Macau.

Admission to the museum and crypt

The museum and crypt are open every day from 9:00-18:00, on Tuesdays only until 12:00. Last entry is possible 30 minutes before closing time.

Admission is 15 mop.

How to get there?

The ruins of the church are located in the middle of the Macao Peninsula in a densely built-up part of the city.

The nearest bus stops can be found at the following locations:

  • R. Tomás Vieira (about 250 meters) - line 17
  • Ponte 16/Auto Silo Pak Kong (approx. 600 metres) - lines 1, 3, 3X, 4, 6A, 8A, 16, 16S, 18A, 18B, 19, 26, 26A, 33, 61, 101X, MT4

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