St. Dominic’s Church (Igreja de São Domingos, 玫瑰堂) was established in 1587 by 3 Spanish Dominican priests who arrived in Macau from Acapulco, Mexico, this church has been the scene of several violent incidents.
The first of these was in 1644, when a Spanish officer—loyal to the King of Spain and opposing the colony’s determination to stay allegiant with Portugal after the dissolution of the Iberian Union—entered the church in order to seek refuge from an angry mob. He was promptly murdered at the foot of the altar while mass was being celebrated.
Then in 1707, the Dominicans supported the Pope’s stance with regards to the Chinese Rites controversy. This was in opposition and defiance to the view of the Bishop of Macau, who subsequently excommunicated them. When soldiers were sent to the church in order to uphold this ruling, the friars responded by closing the church for three days and throwing rocks to repel them.
The first Portuguese-language newspaper in China—A Abelha da China (The China Bee)—was published at St. Dominic’s on September 12, 1822.
The church closed down in 1834 when monastic orders were dissolved and expropriated to the government, who then converted it into barracks, a stable and an office for public works. However, it later reopened and was given many works of sacred art from other religious orders dissolved back in Portugal.
The church underwent renovation in 1997 and a museum was added alongside the church.