No.1 Cathedral Square, Macau
Built around 1622, the Macau Cathedral was originally constructed with taipa (compound material consisting soil and straw). During the restoration of 1780, the religious services of the Cathedral were temporarily transferred to the old chapel of the Holy House of Mercy. The facade is characterized by pilasters and the twin belfries that stand out on the streetscape. The exterior is clad in Shanghai plaster, giving the church a monolithic subdued appearance.
Source : en.macautourism.gov.mo
Visitors arrive at the spectacular facade after passing by a small fountain and a cross on the square in front of the Macau Cathedral. The Cathedral consists of a main building and the Bell Tower. The main building has just one floor with a sloping roof and wooden truss. With a 39 feet (12 meters) high symmetrical-styled facade, the main building is constructed in typical neoclassical style. The main body of the Cathedral has an oblong shape, with a transept with chapels on each side. There are wooden Portuguese folding screens at the entrance to the Macau Cathedral. With light green as the interior color, the indoor decoration of the main shrine basically keeps the reconstruction details of 1937, concise and majestic. The magnificent buildings and solemn atmosphere make people feel peaceful and equable in mind. Over and above its influence and attraction to Catholics, even a nonbeliever would be in awe standing in the Cathedral.
The main altar appears simple, for it just has stained glass windows as the background, but those bishops and devotees who remains are buried beneath the alter have brought immeasurable glory to the Cathedral. Some Catholic relics and monuments are restored in the Cathedral. Some famous religious paintings are also preserved in the Cathedral, these include St. John’s Baptism Picture and the Japanese Catholics Crucified in Nagasaki. The oldest wing of the transept incorporates a wooden vault with the Duteous Madonna enshrined in it.
The Bell Tower is next to the main building. It is about 43 feet (13 meters) high, and has three floors with a flat roof. The bell was made in Britain. Whenever there are important Masses, Feast Days, or weddings, the Bell will ring. The Bell last rang on April 6th, 2005 – to mourn the death of the Sanctus Ioannes Paulus PP. Ⅱ (John Paul II).
The Macau Cathedral is within the Historic Centre of Macau, and was included on the list of World Heritage Sites in 2005. People call it the ‘Great Church’; though it is not the largest, it is the most influential church in Macau. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, and Jesus Christ, it serves the second largest parish on Macau Peninsular, including Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, the South Bay, and Terminal Marítimo.
Opening hours : 07.00AM to 06.30PM
Getting there : Bus 2, 5, 6A, 7, 16, 28B