The Cathedral of Saint Paul, informally known as Saint Paul's Cathedral was a 16th-century cathedral in Macau, China, dedicated to Saint Paul the apostle of Jesus. Today, its ruins are arguably the Macau Region's most famous tourist site.
Built from 1582 to 1602 by the Jesuits, the Cathedral was the largest Catholic church in Asia at the time, and the royalty of Europe vied with each other to bestow upon the Cathedral the best gifts. With the decline in importance of Macau, which was overtaken as the main port for the Pearl River Delta by Hong Kong, the Cathedral's fortune's similarly ebbed, and it was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon in 1835. The Fortaleza do Monte overlooks the ruin.
The ruins now consist of the southern stone facade - intricately carved by Japanese monks - and the crypts of the Jesuits who established and maintained the Cathedral. The facade sits on a small hill, with 66 stone steps leading to the facade. The carvings include Jesuit images with Oriental themes, including one of a woman stepping on a seven-headed hydra, described by Chinese characters as 'the Holy Mother tramples the heads of the dragon'. Other engravings include those of the founders of the Jesuit Order, the conquest of Death by Jesus, and others, all topped by a dove with wings outstretched.
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