Category: Heritage @ Macau.

Historic Center of Macau :: St Augustine’s Church

St. Augustine`s Church is located on St. Augustine`s Square in St. Lawrence’s parish. The old Augustinian Convent was founded by Spanish friars Francisco Manrique, Diogo Despinal and Nicolau de Tolentino, in 1586.

The original construction was made of wooden planks and straw, and this soon perished due to the fragility of both structure and materials. The church was later transferred to its present location by the Portuguese friars Pedro de Santa Maria, Pedro de S. Jose and Miguel dos Santos. The Portuguese friars took over the administration of the church in 1589, constructing the present building in 1591.

ln 1874 a typhoon seriously damaged the church causing the nave and sacristy to collapse and the present church is the result of renovation work carried out in 1874 and 1887. The church is classified as a monument because of its historical and artistic value.

Architectural Design

St. Augustine’s Church on St. Augustine’s Square is very simple in its exterior composition, which contrasts with the elaborate decoration of the interior nave, chancel and service area. The church presents a mixture of styles, but is neo-classical in essence.

The extension of the church’s nave is 20.5 metres long and 11 metres wide. The main altar suffered some alterations through time, in previous restoration works. The nave, 30 metres long and 13.5 metres wide, is divided into three sections by two arched side walls, supported in Corinthian inspired columns. Beneath the tiled roof, there is a wooden ceiling with openings for ventilation.

The wooden ceiling over the nave is decorated with a few paintings, especially over the main altar area. There are small side altars and niches following up to the main altar, with some decorative details that display a baroque influence in style. On both sides of the nave, following the symmetric design of the whole building, there are some windows to promote ventilation and natural light.

Over the main entrance there is a choir measuring 6 metres in depth that extends to the sidewalls, forming a narrow balcony, in a similar design to that of St. Dominic’s Church. The window openings at the top interior level coincide with the rhythm of the side altars. Close to the arched vault that divides the main altar area, there are two wooden pulpits, which show skilled craftsmanship.

There is only one entrance through the main facade of the church, which is flanked by a pair or Doric granite columns. On the ground level, the main entrance is sided by two windows. There are three windows in the central part of the facade. with the one in the middle being a full storey high. following the rhythm of the ground floor openings. All the windows are framed with simple white relief plasterwork. A triangular pediment tops the facade, displaying a niche in the middle, where a statue of the Virgin Mary is positioned. The private area attached to the church is a two·storey building of` neo-classical design, with little decoration.

St. Augustine’s Church is painted light yellow, decorated with white markings and relief plasterwork, giving the church an appearance of simplicity that contrasts with the richness of its interior.

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Category: Heritage @ Macau