Arguably Macau’s most famous landmark, the Ruins of St. Paul’s was officially listed in 2005 as part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Historic Center of Macau. Originally built in the 16th century, the complex of St. Paul’s College and the Cathedral of St. Paul burned down and was rebuilt multiple times before the third and final fire during a typhoon in 1835 left it beyond repair. All that remains are the iconic stone facade and the grand staircase leading up to it.
The facade is 27 meters tall, 23.5 meters wide and 2.7 meters thick. The top floor is a triangle lintel under a cross; in the middle of the lintel is a copper dove. The dove is surrounded by the sun, moon, and stars. There is a statue of the baby Jesus Christ with the tools that were used to nail him to the cross. The major figures portrayed in the lintel are the Virgin Mary, the Holy Father, some Holy Saints, and Jesus Christ. The middle two floors reflect missionary endeavor.
Admission to the museum is free every day between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm. Restored into a museum, the facade is buttressed from behind, allowing tourists to climb up to the windows to get a closer look at the stone carvings and to enjoy a panoramic view of the city below.