The great ruined façade and staircase to the church of the Mother of God - now popularly known as St. Paul's - is the most famous landmark of Macau. Designed by an Italian Jesuit, and, with the assistance of Japanese Christian artisans who had fled from feudal persecution in Nagasaki, the church was built from 1602 to 1637. In 1835, a fire burned it to the ground, leaving only the façade, the staircase and portions of a wall. It remained unchanged until a restoration was undertaken and completed in the summer of 1991. That façade is crowned by the cross of Jerusalem, below which are three tiers with niches containing statues that were cast from bronze, at a local cannon and bell factory.

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Editorial Photo: Macau : Ruins of St. Paul s

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