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60 Walking Macao, Reading the Baroque 61 4. Igreja de São Domingos Igreja de São Domingos (Church of St Dominic) Chapter 4 After São José, a different example of the baroque can be visited: the Igreja de São Domingos. This chapter approaches it from the Senado Square through a detour, to see how it relates to the city space that has produced it, and how it has created space around it. São Domingos stands in its own small square (largo) at the other end of the Senado Square, which itself has its miniature aspects. Many things in Macao seem like miniatures of European forms. Perhaps it is a peculiarity of colonial architecture and colonial space, to make things small and sometimes doll-like for economic reasons. The Senado Square is situated in front of the classically built Leal Senado, and in photograph 30, embodies Macao at its most carnival with the decoration for the Chinese New Year of the Dog (2006), where the mock-ups of the dog show that miniaturisation — which here looks like Disneyfication — takes many forms, and does not necessarily mean making the model of the dog look smaller! And behind the Leal Senado in a little side street, as the road begins to make an ascent, there may be seen a distant glimpse of one of those crumbling neo-classical buildings whose colour, size, and sheer existence make Macao attractive, even though the meaning of the building remains only partially legible (photograph 31). The inscription suggests that it 29. Igreja de São Domingos 30. View of Leal Senado 62 Walking Macao, Reading the Baroque was once a place of association for people from four cities (Siyi), or five, in Guangdong province (Enping, Taishan, Xinhui, Kaiping, and Heshan, in the Pearl delta, all part of Jiangmen); now disused, the title, like the house, remains as a palimpsest, testimony to several unreadable histories. As the building is seen in closer detail, it will be noticed how it lacks symmetry. The cartouches within the pediment are, as so often, empty: the building has not received any European inscription, only a Chinese one below, as if in a refusal of the cartouche-space. Why the left wing lacks a window in the upper storey is part of the forgotten history of Macao. The balcony on the return wall of the right wing only adds to the asymmetry of the whole. There is an empty space to the left of the building, climbing the hill. The Senado Square, actually more a triangular shape, narrows towards a funnel shape as it approaches the largo São Domingos (as could be seen in photograph 1). But a detour can be taken by turning down the street Rua Sul do Mercado de São Domingos, to the left of the square facing away from the Leal Senado. This street is full of traders, with markets to the left and right. To the left there suddenly appears Sam Kai Vui Kun temple, which was a place of business, the Chinese complement to the colonial administration in the Senado. The road continues down to the Rua dos Mercadores. 31. Associação de Beneficência dos Naturais de Sei Iap de Macau 63 4. Igreja de São Domingos 64 Walking Macao, Reading the Baroque 32. Three streets with the much emptier colonial baroque model in São José, commented on before. Having arrived at Rua dos Mercadores, there is a right turn into the Travessa do Soriano, following the graceful curve made by the now run-down 1920s colonial and Chinese building (which formerly housed a bank), with graceful ironwork balconies, and a rhythm of double pilasters with double doors between them, opening onto the street. This view permits in the distance a view of the rear of São Photograph 32 shows the three streets governed by Sam Kai Vui Kun temple, which means ‘Three Streets Conference Committee’. At the rear of the photograph the Leal Senado square can just be seen, with the 1929 neo-classical Post Office (architect: Chen Kwen Pei) behind it. The second street runs down the extent of the photograph, and the temple is just visible, behind a high-rise building of 1928, renovated in 1988. The third street is where we stand. As we look into this temple, it is worth contrasting the business and fullness of its shrine 33. Shrine in Sam Kai 65 4. Igreja de São Domingos 66 Walking...


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  • Art, Chinese -- China -- Macau (Special Administrative Region).
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