Friday, February 13, 2009

Then And Now: St. Paul's Ruins

The iconic attraction in Macau is the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral. (Sorry gamblers..I'm not talking about the casinos!) A long time ago, this church burned down, leaving only the front facade standing. The remaining arches, statues, and ornate stone work make for a very unusual and interesting visual.

Five years ago, the facade was surrounded by scaffolding. (We heard that, among other things, they were cleaning up after Macau's pigeons.) This time, we were excited not only to get closer to the ruins, but also to have the chance to climb up the observatory stairs for a bird's eye view of the ruins and the surrounding square.

And then there were the chalices, ciboriums, and other Catholic relics of old that are housed in a small nearby museum. As we watched other tourists, presumably very few of whom were Catholic, we thought about how Catholic icons must seem as exotic to them as Buddhist icons can at times (although less and less so) seem to us.



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