From St. Augustine Square, Jandy, Cheska and I walked next to Rua de Sao Lourenco to visit St. Lawrence’s Church (Igreja do Sao Lourenco), one of the oldest churches of Macau. It was originally built with wood by the Jesuits in 1560, with clay in 1618 and reconstructed in stone around 1803. The present church was the result of the works carried out in 1846.
Located on a hilly part on the southern coastline of Macau, overlooking the sea, we approached the church via a beautiful stone staircase and entered it via an ornamental double swing, wrought iron gate decorated by a simple Greek cross symbol. Also here, on the front steps leading to the church, families of Portuguese sailors used to gather to pray and wait for the return of their loved ones, hence it was given the name Feng Shun Tang (Hall of the Soothing Winds).
The church has a Neo-Classical facade divided into 3 sections, with the center flanked by the 2 square bell towers, each measuring around 21 m. high. The facade is filled with classical features like the pilasters and volutes over the windows and is topped by an iron cross and the symbol of Mary consisting of the intertwined letters A and M (Auspice Mari’a, a monogram of the Virgin Mary).
The central section of the main facade is characterized by a pediment interrupted in the middle by an oval emblem. The ground plan of the church is in the shape of a Latin cross, measuring 37 m. by 29 m.. The shorter arms of the building form two interior chapels. The longer extension of the building corresponds to the main nave inside.
Ornamented pillars and exquisite chandeliers create an elegant church interior, heightening its ambiance. The main altar separated by a vaulted arch and the nave is covered with Chinese tiles.