Macau’s most famous landmark, the Ruins of St. Paul’s, seen in two pictures almost 150 years apart.
The historical photo dates back to circa 1870 and shows the former St. Paul’s College to the right of the lone façade of the Ruins. Founded by Jesuits in 1594, the college served to train missionaries before they traveled further into China, Japan and other parts of East Asia.
It is considered the first Western university in East Asia.
Both the college and the church were badly burned by a fire in 1835, but in part later repaired. Other dated photos of the location show that various buildings were restored in the location of the college until the 1940s, when it was replaced with a ramp that is still there today.
Aside from the college, not much has changed to the area’s physical form in the past 150 years. But the same cannot be said for the spirit of the area. What was once a religious center for much of East Asia has today become an item on the tourist checklist.