Monday, July 7, 2008

A Visit to Senado Square Area, Macau

Before Macau was known for being the Gambling Capital of Asia, it was known for its Tourist Spots and for its good food (Chinese and Portuguese cuisine).

The best place to still go to in Macau (if you aren't into casinoes), is in the Senado Square. Part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, place is the perfect venue for those photo opps. with its old churches, post offices and museums, this is good for half a day to a whole day exploration in Macau.

Aside from Venetian Shopping Arcade, this also seems to be the only interesting shopping area in Macau with its Giordano, Bossini, ESPRIT, Nike, Adidas, Puma, Crocs stores and its Starbucks and McDonalds, it feels like being in Hong Kong for just a little while.

Some sights to see around here are:

General Post Office. Place where they sell a lot of interesting Stamp Issues at affordable prices. Among those that I got were a stamped envelope of Mt. Everest, some Beijing Olympic stamps, stamp of Macau Tower and Chinese Zodiac stamps. Good place for souvenirs and to give to your Stamp Collecting friends.

St. Dominic's Church, Catholic Church built in 1587 by Spanish Dominican priests and now part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of most photographed churches in Macau but it doesn't beat...

Ruins of St. Paul. This isn't really part of Senado Square but since it is a mere 5 minutes walk from it, I decided to include it here as well. Probably the most photographed church in Asia as quite unique in that only its facade is up for viewing, as fire ravaged rest of the building.

Church grounds

Its seldomly seen (and photographed) back part.

There is a steel stairway located here so you may climb it and get a view of the area from any of church's three windows.

Crypt found at back part of St. Paul's. You have to go down a flight of stairs to reach it. On its sides are shelves filled with human bones. I initially thought of taking a picture of it but changed my mind as didn't want something supernatural coming out in the picture (very frightened Fatboy).

Right next to the Crypt is Museum of Sacred Art, which contains some church relics and artifacts. Best thing about this is that entrance is FREE!

Some things found in Museum:
Statue of Saint (Paul I assume?) at the Church I can understand. What I don't understand is why it is holding a skull in its hand? Very weird and creepy...

Crucifix of Jesus Christ (made of Ivory)

Another Saint Statue holding Church in its hand. (First thought that it might be the Church of St. Paul but structure different when comparing it).
Some paintings found at the Museum:

Painting showing cruxifixion event of Japanese Christians
More details: In 1597, twenty-six Christians were nailed to crosses at Nagasaki, Japan. Among those executed were Paul Miki and Pedro Bautista, a Spanish Franciscan who had worked about ten years in the Philippines. The executions marked the beginning of a long history of persecution of Christianity in Japan, which continued until the United States of America and other Allies defeated Japan at war in 1945, ending World War II. (Source: Wikipedia)

Some other Interesting sights around this area are Museum of Macau and Mount Fortress (details to follow)...

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