Friday, April 23, 2010

Hong Kong Trip '10: [PART 4] Ruins of St. Paul's & Forteleza do Monte

We are now Ruins of St. Paul's, Macau. The "cardboard pop-up" cathedral is arguably the region's most famous tourist attraction. The original Cathedral of Saint Paul was built in the 16th-century (1582 to 1602) and dedicated to the Apostle of Jesus, Saint Paul. The front wall is all that remains of the Jesuit church after a fire during a typhoon attack in 1835, hence it stands like a cardboard pop-up. The external stone facade features carvings relating the story of the Catholic Church in Asia (with dragons and a sailing ship).

Built by the Jesuits, the Cathedral was the largest Catholic church in Asia at the time with the royalty of Europe competing to give the Cathedral the best gifts.

Some photo-taking on the 66-steps stairs in front of the Cathedral.

The Oriental-theme carvings include Jesuit images such as one of a woman stepping on a seven-headed hydra, described by Chinese characters as "Holy Mother (Virgin Mary) tramples the heads of the dragon". Other engravings include those of the founders of the Jesuit Order, the conquest of Death by Jesus.

Everything behind the wall has been restored. Some of the old foundation are still visible through some glass panels on the floor.

Climb up the steel structure to the tall windows on the wall.
It is a custom to throw coins into the top window of the ruins from the stairs, for luck.

"I wish to find myself a beautiful ....... " LOL.

A view through the window out to the winding road leading to the Cathedral.

An old restored Crypt houses the remains of the founders of this Jesuit Cathedral.

Artefacts that were excavated were restored and kept in the Musuem of Sacred Art next to the Crypt.

Fortaleza do Monte or Mount Fortress or Monte Forte, is the historical military centre of Macau. It is part of the “Historic Centre of Macau”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort is just beside and overlooks the Ruins of St. Paul's.
Mount Fortress was originally built in the 16th century the by the Jesuits.
This fort was the city’s main defense structure, which successfully held off the attempted Dutch invasion of Macau in 1622. The fortress was equipped with cannons, military barracks, wells and an arsenal that held sufficient ammunition and supplies to endure a siege lasting up to two years. Mount Fortress is built on top of Mount Hill, 52 meters above sea level.

Making way up to the fortress.

On the way up, you will start to cannons protruding out of the fortress walls.

The walls are made of solid rammed earth, further strengthened by a thick stucco of ground oyster shells.

I suspect that the two strips of smooth gradients along the steps were intended for wheeling the cannons.

Markings on the artillery.

An old bell served as a signal tool.
Small holes in the walls probably served a battlements for riflemen.

The walls facing the Chinese Mainland do not have any battlements, indicating that the fortress was built only for defense against attacks from the sea.

A fantastic panoramic view of Macau city is possible above the fortress.

Definitely not what the people at Grand Lisboa had wanted.

Waiting at the base of the fortress.

Back to the Ruins of St. Paul's.

We decided to explored the surroundings of the Cathedral, where we get to see part of the Old City Wall and check out some toys. I was quite impressed by the collection in this humble and cramped little store.

At foot of the Cathedral, there is a small little Tao temple dedicated to the Deity, Ne Zha (哪吒).

What better way to relax after all that walk by giving ourselves a treat to the snack stalls at the foot of the Cathedral.

Curry Fish Balls and Tofu sounds good!

How about a guava juice that claims to have medicinal and slimming properties!

Before leaving Macau, make sure you grab some souvenir snacks from the famous Koi Kei Bakery. You can grab some full-sized samples of the many snacks. I had to grab the seaweed egg crisps, peanut candy, almond candy and almond cakes.

That sums up our visit to Macau and in the next part, we return to Hong Kong again and pay a visit to the outskirts.

Photography & Editing by William Tan 2010
Documented using my reliable Nikon D200 equipped with
Tamron 18-270mm VC, the one lens you need to cover all your travel needs,
Panasonic LUMIX-LX3, the Legendary compact camera which still held its reputation and price after 3 years!

1 comment:

Julee said...

Rich historical past, looks interesting. Me thinks instead of you praying for "I wish to find myself a beautiful ....", it should be "I wish for a beautiful baby and soon" hee hee