Explore The City’s Beautiful Churches, From St. Joseph’s Church To Xishiku Church
Beijing is home to some of beautiful churches that you should explore for its architectural beauty! Many churches stay open all day but some close for a few hours in the afternoon. Most churches allow photos inside with some restrictions. Here’s a look at six of the best churches to visit during your trip to Beijing.
6. Xuanwumen Cathedral
Also called the “Cathedral of Immaculate Conception,” Xuanwumen Cathedral was built in 1904, but a church has occupied the site since 1650. Adam Schall, a Jesuit missionary and tutor to Emperor KangXi, directed the construction of the first church which burned down. The church was rebuilt but was closed in 1827 by Emperor DaoGuang. The church’s darkest period came during the Boxer Rebellion when hundreds of Chinese Catholics were killed in the church or on its grounds.
5. St. Joseph’s Church
Located on Wangfujing Dajie, one of Beijing’s most popular streets for shopping, St. Joseph’s Church was built in 1905 by the French. The Romanesque facade overlooks a popular square where people frequently gather. The current church replaced one that had been constructed in 1655 under the direction of Father Verbiest, a Jesuit who followed Adam Schall. St. Joseph’s Church houses many paintings of Giuseppe Castiglione.
4. St. Michael’s Church
Originally built in 1902, St. Michael’s Church is located in the old foreign legation quarter, a 19th-century European enclave. The church was closed during the Cultural Revolution in the 1950s but reopened in 1989. Original stained glass draws visitors to the Gothic-style church that features statues of angels above its main gate. It’s not always opened to visitors, so plan to go during mass times.
3. Xishiku Church
Known as the “Church of the Saviour,” Xishiku Church was built in 1887 in the neo-gothic style under the guidance of a French priest. The church was badly damaged during the Cultural Revolution and has since been rebuilt. As you approach the church on the eastern side of Xishiku Dajie, you can see sections of a small, European-style church that was never rebuilt following the Cultural Revolution.
2. Zhushikou Church
The first of eight churches planted by the United Methodist Church, this church was built in 1904. It has the significance of being one of the first multi-story buildings in South Beijing. During worship services, the congregation sits on each of its three floors and watches the service via television monitor.
1. Xizhimen Church
One of four original Catholic churches built in Beijing, Xizhimen was originally constructed in 1723 by Italian Lazarist missionary Teodorico Pedrin. It was the first non-Jesuit church built in Beijing. The church was destroyed in 1811, rebuilt and destroyed again during the Boxer Rebellion. The current structure was built in 1912 and features gothic peaks on the inside. On the outside, graffiti from the Culture Revolution remains visible on the church walls.