Leading to an impressive flight of granite steps from the gate, and the façade of a beautiful baroque church, St. Joseph’s Church is one of Macau’s more attractive churches to visit. The church is located behind St. Augustine Square and down a side street from St. Lawrence Church. The construction started in 1746 and the whole structure was ready in 1758. The construction process itself is quite remarkable, as the technicians had to break the then-existing rock to flatten the ground and start building the complex.
However, its history dates back to the arrival of the Society of Jesus’ priests, who had settled in St. Joseph’s Residence in 1728, later called Seminar. The institution was officially considered a Diocesan Seminar in 1858. The church suffered several renovations through time, including in the 20th century.
The church’s front is one of the best examples of Portuguese baroque architecture abroad. In fact, St. Joseph’s Church and the St. Paul’s Ruins are the only examples of baroque architecture in China. One of the most precious elements of this church is a bone fragment from S. Francisco Xavier’s arm, previously part of Madre de Deus Church (now known as St. Paul’s Ruins) collection. St. Joseph’s Seminar was also one of the first places offering a degree similar to the ones in university.
Opening hours: (church) Daily, 10:00am–5:00pm
*The seminar is not open to the public
Also read: A Guide to St. Augustine’s Square