The 6 Famous Churches of Macau
1. ST. DOMINIC’S CHURCH
St. Dominic’s Church is a Baroque-styled Roman Catholic church and one of the 29 Cultural World Heritage sites in Macau. With the power of faith reflected in its atmosphere and its extravagant decoration, this place has a powerful vibe. The bell tower at the back is also a place where more than 300 artifacts of Catholic people have been collected and exhibited at The Treasure of Sacred Art Museum. On 13th of May every year, you can also witness an interesting annual parade of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is led by Catholic women dressed in white and carrying the statue of Our Lady of Fatima from St. Dominic’s Church to the Church of Our Lady of Penha.
Location: St. Dominic’s Square
Opening time: 10:00 – 18:00
2. ST. AUGUSTINE’S CHURCH
St. Augustine’s Church was founded by Spanish Augustine priests in 1591. This church has a Chinese name of “Long Song Miu” or the Temple of the Long-whiskered Dragon which originated from times in the past when it rained. The priests would put long palm leaves on the roof to protect the wooden building which looked like a dragon’s whiskers moving in the wind when looking from faraway. The exterior of this church has been designed with simple Neo-classic style which is in contrast with its interior that is decorated extravagantly. The entrance is framed with granite Roman pillars in a Catholic style. At Easter, it is the starting point for the annual ‘Jesus on the Cross’ procession in which pilgrims carry the statue to the Cathedral of Macau for an overnight vigil before carrying it back to St. Augustine’s Church. The church is also one of the first churches in Macau to offer English sermons.
No. 2 Santo Agostinho Square
Opening time: 10:00 – 18:00
3. ST. LAWRENCE’S CHURCH
St. Lawrence’s Church is one of the three oldest churches in Macau. It was founded by the priests of the Society of Jesus in the middle of the 16th century before being renovated in 1846, and is located on the southern coast of Macau. The area around the church used to be the residence of a number of wealthy people, which is shown in the colossal size of the establishment that was built with Neo-classic style combined with Baroque. In the past, families of Portuguese sailors would gather in front of the church to pray for their sailors to come home safely. This place is easily accessible by foot, at a 600-meter distance from Senado Square.
Rua de Sao Lourenco (Rua da Imprensa Nacional entrance)
Opening time: 07:00 – 21:00.
4. ST. JOSEPH’S SEMINARY CHURCH
St. Joseph’s Seminary Church is known to be the origin of Baroque architecture in China and also received an award from UNESCO for being an example of a church with Baroque architecture. The church was built in 1728 to be used as a seminary for the missionaries who would travel to China, Japan, and other countries. In 1800, Queen Dona Maria I of Portugal accepted the seminary in her royal care and renamed it to the “House of the Mission Congregation”. The interior of the church is decorated beautifully with many parts that resemble the ruins of St. Paul’s Church, such as Baroque-styled curved lintels which are rarely seen anywhere in Macau.
Location: Rua do Seminario
Opening time: 10:00 – 17:00.
5. St. Anthony’s Church
St. Anthony’s Church is also known as the Church of Flowers for its fame as a popular wedding place of Portuguese people in the past. The church, which is located in front of Santo Antonio Square, is the oldest church in Macau. It was built to commemorate St. Anthony, who was a very well-respected saint among fishermen. Before 1560, the church had been built with bamboo before undergoing several renovations years after. The current structure is a 2-story building in a Neo-classic style with cleanly designed tympanums. One of its interesting designs includes a row of windows on the second floor making a line on the front of the church building. Every Sunday you can also participate in the Mass service with Portuguese prayers at the church.
Location: Santo Antonio Square
Opening time: 9:00 – 17:30.
6. ST. LAZARUS CHURCH
Apart from being a center for artists and galleries, Sun Never Left - an artistic road in Macau – also features St. Lazarus’ Church. The church, although built back in 1570, still holds a beauty that does not fade with time and it looks even more beautiful from a distance. St. Lazarus’ is a medium-sized church with a main white building that is accentuated with the western-styled arch top gate in a green color. The church also has a wide field and a beautiful fence in the front that provide a dreamy atmosphere. This makes many couples choose this place as the background for their wedding pictures. Tourists can visit to capture romantic pictures of their own and to experience shops and stalls that sell unique artistic goods as the place is also an open space for art shows.
11 Adro de S. Lazaro, Macau
Opening time: 07:00 – 11:00 and 14:30 – 18:00. It is closed on Tuesdays.
Source : My World Vol.108 July-August 2017