Organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from the Portuguese acronym), the “Visiting the Ruins of St. Paul’s in Space and Time” – Exhibition of Virtual Reality at the Ruins of St. Paul’s presents a digital reconstruction of the Former Mater Dei Church (Church of the Mother of God), aimed at restoring the historical features of the building before it was destroyed by fire, thereby allowing the public to immerse in this magnificent masterpiece of Baroque architecture four hundred years ago. New exploration sessions with full virtual reality experiences will be officially launched on 24 March, presenting additional scenes related to the virtual restoration of the exterior of the Church and its surrounding area, while also presenting the interior and exterior features of the Church in a comprehensive and three-dimensional way. Tickets for the updated exploration sessions are on sale, starting from today, through the “Activity Registration” of the “Macao One Account”.
The “Visiting the Ruins of St. Paul’s in Space and Time” – Exhibition of Virtual Reality at the Ruins of St. Paul’s presents the first digital reconstruction of the Ruins of St. Paul’s College, after the fire that destroyed the complex around 200 years ago. The first phase of the exhibition was launched in the second half of December last year and was widely acclaimed by the public, attracting nearly 13,000 visitors until the last day of the exhibition’s first phase, on 28 February, effectively sharing Macao’s history and culture in an innovative way. This important exhibition of virtual reality is a significant step for the digital development of Macao’s world heritage resources. It also represents a new chapter for the revitalisation of Macao’s cultural heritage legacy.
The updated resources for the exploration of this exhibition includes themes such as “Procession and mass” and “The mass and the crab dance” in the VR experimental scenes in addition to the existing ones, further advancing the digital restoration of the exterior of the Church and its surrounding area, as well as presenting more features related to the interior and exterior characteristics of the Church in a comprehensive and three-dimensional way. At the same time, visitors can play games from a first-person perspective with a device in their hands and immerse themselves in other scenic storytelling activities, such as the crab dance. In addition, an AR exploration area will also be available in the exhibition venue and the open area of the Ruins of St. Paul’s College, sharing Macao’s centuries-old history and its culture of East-West integration from multiple perspectives, strongly enriching the visiting experience of the public to world heritage sites.
The Former Mater Dei Church (Church of the Mother of God) was the core building of the St. Paul’s College. Founded in 1594 and in operation until 1762, St. Paul’s College was the first Western-style higher education institution in China and even Asia. It made a historic contribution to the advancement of economic, technological and cultural exchanges between the East and West. The magnificent “Mater Dei Church”, built in 1640, was hailed as an incredible architectural achievement in the Far East. The college and the main building of the Church were destroyed in a fire, in 1835, but the main façade, as well as most of the foundations and the granite stairway have miraculously remained standing for around 400 years, making this monument one of the most important cultural landmarks of the city and an integral part of Macao’s World Heritage. IC will continue to promote further technologically intelligent cultural undertakings, introducing more vivid and rich tools to share the story of cultural exchange between China and the West that took place in Macao, thereby showcasing Macao’s multicultural identity in a lively manner.
The updated exhibition’s full experience will be officially launched on 24 March. The exhibition will be open daily, from 9am to 6pm, including public holidays. There will be three sessions per hour, that is to say every 20 minutes, with a maximum of 10 participants enrolled per session. Tickets for the straight-hour timed sessions (09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00) can be booked through the “Activity Registration” of the “Macao One Account” (www.mo.gov.mo/home), while tickets for the remaining sessions will be available onsite. Tickets cost MOP50. Moreover, a 50% discount will be offered to students and senior citizens (local or non-local residents aged 5 or above and under 18, or aged 65 or above). Participants must be aged 5 or above, and participants under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. A souvenir will be offered to the first 500 participants who visit the updated full experience of the exhibition. The offer is limited, subject to availability. In order to ensure the quality of the experience, participants are required to arrive at the Information Desk of the Ruins of St. Paul’s 10 minutes before each exploration session starts. Latecomers will lose their placement and tickets are non-refundable.
For more information about the exhibition, please visit www.wh.mo/stpaulvr.