The most famous sight in Macau, the façade and stairway are all that remain of this early-17th-century Jesuit church, called Tai Sam Ba in Cantonese. With its wonderful statues, portals and engravings that effectively make up a 'sermon in stone' and a Biblia pauperum (Bible of the poor), some consider the ruins to be the greatest monument to Christianity in Asia to help the illiterate understand the Passion of Christ and the lives of the saints.
After the expulsion of the Jesuits from Macau in 1762, a military battalion was stationed here. In 1835, a fire destroyed everything except the screen-like facade, mosaic floor and 66-step approach you can see today. But even in ruins its grandiose scale is a stunning reminder of Macau's Portuguese past.
The site is all the more impressive when it's floodlit at night: squint upwards to spot some local flavour in the carving of a woman stamping on a seven-headed hydra.
There's a museum in the cathedral's former nave, with pride of place going to the highly prized piece of St Francis Xavier's arm bone and the tomb belonging to the cathedral's builder, Jesuit Father Alessandro Valignano.