Built in 1875, the centennial-old Chapel is seated in St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery (commonly known as the Old Cemetery for Westerner) to complement the burial ground dated since 1835. It was constructed with the intention of providing more adequate funeral arrangements for local Catholics. But by early 20th century, the restrictions on the use of the Chapel were loosened and it became opened for public burial. It had undergone restoration for many times and is still well-preserved today.
The exterior walls of the quaint Chapel are plastered in light green, a color rarely seen in chapels of Macao, with white pediment and stringcourse as embellishment. The 2-storey bell tower that stands before the entrance to the nave is fitted with pointed, arched and linteled windows and door resembling the shape of a bullet. The Chapel gives a towering look with an air of seclusion.
Passing through the bell tower opens the way its nave, where a central altar dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel is seen. Three stained glass windows lie behind altar, depicting scenes of a priest anointing dying brethren, the last judgment and souls suffering in hell. The overall ornamentation and placement of holy statues revolve around the theme of funeral and interment.City Guide
The present-day Cathedral is dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady and stands on one of the highest areas of the city, not far from the place where one of the customs houses stood. It is surrounded – though at a distance that the difference between secular clergy and regular clergy must have imposed – by the Santa Casa da Misericórdia charity institution, Saint Clare’s Con- vent and Saint Dominic’s Convent. As a reference, it stands at the beginning of the climb to Saint Paul’s. It seems that the diocese of Macau wanted to present itself, from a symbolic point of view, as the centre of the city’s religious activity. From an urban standpoint, and with evident social implications of past times, the present-day Largo da Sé [Cathedral Square] was the meeting point of some of the city’s main streets, which bore consolidated names that attest to the institution’s efficiency as a centre of attraction: Rua da Sé, Calçada da Sé, Beco da Sé, etc.Heritage of Portuguese Influence