Attraction Sanbaziheng Street (Rua Do Seminario), Macau, China Published on: 10-10-2016
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Why St. Joseph Seminary and Church is special ?
St. Joseph's Seminary, one of the most beautiful of Macau's attractions, was first built by the Jesuits in 1728, as part of their efforts to introduce Christianity to China and the Far East. It started its life as a rather modest building, but was soon followed by the extravagant St. Joseph's Church, which opened in 1758.
The fabulous church features a classic Baroque architecture and its distinctive beauty has always attracted artists. The church's interior is rich and lavish, with plenty of well preserved decorations. Its high domed ceiling gives exceptionally fine acoustics and the church is, indeed, an excellent venue for concerts during the annual International Music Festival.
This church, together with the Ruins of St. Paul’s, is the only example of baroque architecture in China (as noted in UNESCO’s 2001 publication Atlas mundial de la arquitectura barroca).
What to explore at St. Joseph Seminary and Church?
The superb acoustics of the church can make it a great venue of concerts, which includes the yearly Global Music Festival. There exists a door next to the altar that prospects to a walled backyard with an ancient effectively plus a plant nursery.
How to get to St. Joseph Seminary and Church?
Bus: 9, 16, 18, 28B
Sanbaziheng Street (Rua Do Seminario), Macau, China
Tips for you
St. Joseph's Church is the third stop along the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) sponsored 'Crossroads of China and Portugal' walking route which includes some of the best historic Portuguese and Chinese buildings in the Historic City Centre of Macau. The walking route starts at Senado Square, passes St. Augustine's Square and then encounters St. Joseph's Church, where you will find a rare example of Baroque style architecture in China. Built by the Jesuits in 1758 this is a small but lovely church to visit. Interestingly, there are usually no (or very few) visitors here. Over the years, I have rarely seen more then 1-2 tourists at St. Joseph's when I've stopped by. St. Joseph's Church is open from 10am to 5pm daily. A stop at St. Joseph's will take no more than 15-20 minutes. You then proceed to the next attraction along the Crossroads of China and Portugal walking tour - St. Lawrence's Church, which is just a couple minutes away by foot.
On the winding way from Leal Senado to the Mandarin’s House, we stepped, by chance and out of curiosity, through the open gate to the Seminario de S. Jose, leading to an impressive flight of granite steps and the façade of a beautiful baroque church. It turns out that this church was built around 1750 by the Jesuits as part of their seminary. It has been artfully renovated less than 20 years ago. This is not a tourist spot by any means, but as a quiet and respectful tourist you’ll be glad to find it. A bone from the arm of Francis Xavier, who died not far from Macau in 1552, is visible on the side altar to the right. To me, this is the kind of place that make a trip to Macau memorable.