The Chapel of St. Francis Xavier, Macau, China

st francis xavier yellow church macau

Capela de São Francisco Xavier

Coloane, the sleepy southern district of the Macau Peninsula, couldn't feel more different from the glitz and glamour of the Cotai Strip with all of its casinos and luxury hotels. Here, historic shop houses sit along cobbled streets, and the sea gently crashes on the black sand beach. The Chapel of St. Francis Xavier is a symbol of Coloane, and one of the most iconic buildings in the city. In fact, it once housed some of the most important Christian relics in all of Asia!

st francis xavier macau
plaza surrounding the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier in Coloana, Macau, China

The chapel was built in 1928 on a cobblestone plaza just behind a monument to a Macanese victory over pirates in 1910.

The chapel was constructed to house some of Asia's most important Catholic relics, including the remains of the 26 priests who were crucified in Japan in 1597. In 1996, the relics were transferred to the Ruins of St. Paul's Church, where they are currently interred in a place of respect at the Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt.

the plaza outside of the chapel has a historical monument
Another relic that was once held at the chapel is a bone of St. Francis Xavier himself. St. Francis Xavier was a Catholic missionary who is famous for spreading Christianity throughout Asia and for founding the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit Order).

The relic of St. Francis, too, has been moved another church in Macau (St. Joseph's), but the chapel is still an important part of Macanese Catholicism and history.

Today, the iconic yellow chapel is just one example of the brightly colored colonial buildings in the Coloane area of Macau. It's one of the city's most popular landmarks, and located in the coolest part of the peninsula.

old town coloane macau painted buildings
the old town of Coloana, Macau is full of bright colors and colonial-era architecture

How to visit the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier

  • The chapel is located in Coloane, the southernmost part of the Macau Peninsula, near the beach. Signs are clearly marked leading to the chapel. While there, why not stop in at Lord Stow's for the original Macanese egg tart?
  • You can reach the chapel by bus # 26
  • The chapel isn't always open for visitors, but the historical plaza surrounding it is lovely to explore on foot. Coloane is the sleepy side of Macau, and the area is full of cafes, restaurants, shop houses, old temples, and more.


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