Famous Churches – Saint Dominic’s Church, Macao, China

Saint Dominic’s Church, Macao, China

Saint Dominic’s Church is a church in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, China. Saint Dominic’s Church dates from the early 17th century; it is located on the site of a chapel and convent built by the Dominicans in the 1590’s. The basic layout is influenced by both Portuguese and Spanish styles. Facade of cream-colored stone with white stucco moldings and green-shutter windows is impressive. White pillars support a flat ceiling in the interior and apron balconies trim the walls. The flooring is ceramic mosaic tiles with floral decorations. The wooden roof is beautifully carved with ventilation lattices. The great baroque alter contains a cream and white statue of the Virgin and Child and a painting of Christ. The church has a excellent collection of wonderfully carved ivory and wood saints. The church it is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Macau. Saint Dominic’s Church was renovated in 1997 and opened to the public with a museum, on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor.

Saint Dominic’s Church has an aggressively striking history. In 1644, a military officer who supported the Spanish against the Portuguese was murdered at alter during Mass. In 1707 the Dominicans supported the Pope against Macau’s bishop in the Rites Controversy. When local soldiers tried to enforce an excommunication order on them, the friars locked themselves in the church for three days and pelted the soldiers with stones. In 1834 the monastic orders were suppressed and for a time the church was used by the government as barracks, stable and public works office.

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