Built in 1888, Na Tcha Temple is located close to the Ruins of St. Paul’s, inviting inevitable comparison with the grandeur of the former Church of Mater Dei and the remains of St. Paul’s College. The location of this temple is a perfect example of the dignity and distinctive nature of the local Chinese religious traditions in Macao, a unique multicultural dichotomy that is well represented by this small temple.
Na Tcha is also considered an irreverent god and, as such, the distinctive identity of Macao is again evident at this site, where a traditional Chinese temple stands close to the remains of the principal Jesuit enterprise of the region, presenting a dialectic of western and Chinese ideals, as one of the best examples of Macao’s multicultural identity and religious freedom.
Na Tcha Temple is a simple, single chamber building measuring 8.4 metres long and 4.51 metres wide. The entrance porch opens to the temple building measuring only 5 metres in depth. The building is painted grey, with few ornamentations, except for paintings on walls under the entrance porch. The temple has a flush-gable roof of traditional yingshan origin, with the ridge lying 5 metres above the ground. The entrance porch is a xieshan style structure, with an overhanging gable roof and upturned eaves. Just as in other Chinese temples, ceramic animal decorations on the ridge serve as guardians to the temple and as decorative features on the roofline.