For historical reasons, there are many famous Catholic churches in Tianjin City, among which is the Wanghai Lou Church.
The church, also called Catholic Meeting Hall or Victory Mary Church, established by French Catholics at Sanchakou outside the foreign settlement in June 1869. It is a large brick-and-wood architecture of 10 meters high, 30 meters long and 10 meters wide. It is a rectangle in layout. Most buildings except for the tower are two-storeyed with cyan-brick walls, pointedly arched doors and windows, and buttresses on both sides of the entrance. There are three corridors inside, and they follow Basilica style with a higher central corridor and lower side corridors. The tower is flat-roofed. Later small penthouses were built at four corners of the chapel. The church is a good example of the Gothic architecture.
For some reasons, the church was completely destroyed later. It was rebuilt in 1897 at the same place and burnt down later. The existing building was rebuilt in 1903 and renovated after the earthquake in 1976. However, the appearance of the church did not changed much even after several reconstructions.China Culture
St. Joseph Cathedral, also known as Lao Xikai Catholic Church, is a Roman Catholic church located in the central commercial district and original French concession of Tianjin city, China. It is at the southern end of Binjiang Dao Heping District. The cathedral is one of Tianjin’s protected historical relics. The church was built in 1913 under the name of MG Church before it was renamed St. Joseph’s Church. It continues to be the largest Roman Catholic Church in China’s Tianjin province.
In August 1913, construction began, and each brick had to be shipped from France. In June 1916, Xikai was completed and became the main cathedral for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tianjin.
Xikai is northern China’s largest Roman-style church, with an area of 1891.95 square meters and can accommodate 1,500 people. The giant dome has a “product” shape with a green copper surface on the outside, supported by a wood structure and topped with a bronze cross.
Xikai’s walls are checkered with red and yellow tiles and framed with white water masonry. Circular windows, columns, large indoor paintings, a large pipe organ, and semi-circular windows accent the building. The entrance consists of two doors in the back of Xikai, originally meant to allow men and women to enter through separate doors.
The interior of Xikai is based on French and Roman architecture styles. The long main hall is lined by 14 large columns (two rows of seven), leading to a gallery-style tee. The nave has a stacked composite side portico, supported by semi-circular tops. The tall central dome consists of an octagonal drum roof that complements the octagonal windows throughout the church. Its side windows are stained glass with inlay painting. Painted, ornate murals, full of Biblical scenes, cover the walls.Wikipedia
The Nanguan Catholic Church officially known as The Sacred Heart of Jesus Diocesan Cathedral in Shenyang is located on the Lejiao Road of Shenhe District.
Construction of the Church begin in the reign of Guangxu, Qing Dynasty in 1873. It was burnt down by the Justice Harmony Corps at the reign of Guangxu 26 in 1900. In 1912 it was reconstructed after getting Qing government indemnity.
The church is in east courtyard, from north to south it measures 66 meters, from east to west it measures 17 meters, the height of the Church is 40 meters and total covered area is 1,100 square meters. It can accommodate about 1,500 persons.
The architecture of the church is Typical Gothic Style; the roof is sloping towards two sides making a triangle, decorated with the crosses at the top. Three arched entrances are on the front side of the church, both sides are covered with the window. The Church building is supported by 24 stone columns struts.
The church west courtyard has four buildings that include bishop house and government office constructed in 1926.
The Church is listed as a cultural relic under protection by Liaoning Province.World Churches
St Francis Xavier, Coloane Island, Macau
This beautiful little mustard-coloured church on the southern coast of Coloane Island was built in 1928 in the style typical of Portuguese colonial architecture, somewhat reminiscent of the Baroque. Mystery Worshipper, Ship of Fools
The Chapel Our Lady of Penha is located at the top of Penha Hill.
The place was donated by the Senado to the Augustinians for the construction of a church dedicated to “Our Lady of Penha of France”, the navigator’s protector. It is said that the purpose for promoting the chapel foundation was related to an appreciation to The Holy Virgin Mary for Her help in a narrowly escape of a Portuguese ship from Dutch raiders.
The chapel was built in 1622 over the bulwark of Our Lady of Good Birth. It was property of the Augustinians until their expulsion in 1834, in consequence of the liberalism period in Portugal. In 1837 it was reconstructed, along with the Bishop’s Residence, alongside the church, and, in 1935, almost completely rebuild.
For many years, the chapel served as shrine for sailors embarking on often hazardous voyages.
On the large open courtyard fronting the chapel is a marble image of Our Lady of Lourdes facing Macau and China. It is said to be praying for both lands. Close to it, down the steps of a staircase in the hillside, also facing Macau and China, there is a picturesque grotto with a smaller image of, again, Our Lady of Lourdes.
Both images were put in place as a consequence of the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady in Lourdes, which happened in 1858.
Every year, on the 13th of May, thousand of faithful joins the image of Our Lady of Fatima for a pilgrimage and procession. It begins in St. Domingo Church, meanders through the streets of Macau, and finally ends in Penha Church. The devotees come from all over to accompany Our Lady of Fatima. Leading the procession, three children, dressed as the three children who saw and heard Blessed Mary in Portugal, back in 1917.Trappistine Community
The second small church in Coloane was built in 1966 to serve the needs of the settlement of Ka Ho. Overlooking the big garden in front of the Church is huge bronze crucifix over the north door.Macau Holiday
Established in 1728 and built in 1758, the old Seminary, together with St. Paul’s College, was the principal base for the missionary work implemented in China, Japan and around the region. This church, together with the Ruins of St. Paul’s, is the only example of baroque architecture in China (as noted in UNESCO’s 2001 publication Atlas mundial de la arquitectura barroca).Inside the church, in one of the lateral altars, lies one of Macao’s most precious religious relics, a piece of bone from the arm of St. Francis Xavier, that formerly belonged to the collection of the Church of Mater Dei (Ruins of St. Paul’s). St. Joseph’s Seminary taught an academic curriculum equivalent to that of a university and in 1800 the Portuguese Queen Dona Maria I conferred on it the royal title of “House of the Mission Congregation”.
The church façade is 27 metres wide and 19 metres at the highest point. A broken arch, typical of baroque architecture, tops the main entrance of the church. The curved pediment displays the Jesuit insignia at the centre. The façade is characterized by moulded plaster relief, accentuated in white against the plain wall rendered in yellow. The church is laid out in a Latin cross, with its axis measuring 16 metres by 27 metres. The three altars are elaborately ornamented, incorporating pediments supported on two sets of four spiral columns decorated with gold-leaf motifs. Supporting the high-choir at the entrance of the church are four salomonic columns that are signatures of the mannerist art movement which had a significant influence on European architecture particularly in church design prior to the baroque period. The central dome measures 12.5 metres in diameter and rises 19 metres above the ground. It is decorated with three rows of sixteen clerestories; those on the top row are fixed and the others in the lower two rows serve as ventilators.
In contrast with the elaborate architecture of St. Joseph’s Church, the Seminary is a simple, neo-classical compound designed with an internal cloister garden. Constructed primarily of grey brick, the solid walls stand on granite foundations. The arrangement inside the building is typically organized with wide corridors running as much as 80 metres long with classrooms off them.Macau Heritage
The Ruins of St. Paul’s refer to the façade of what was originally the Church of Mater Dei built in 1602-1640 and the ruins of St. Paul’s College, which stood adjacent to the Church, both destroyed by fire in 1835. As a whole, the old Church of Mater Dei, St. Paul’s College and Mount Fortress were all Jesuit constructions and formed what can be perceived as the Macao’s “acropolis”.
The façade of the Ruins of St. Paul’s measures 23 metres across and 25.5 metres high and is divided into five levels. Following the classical concept of divine ascension, the orders on the façade on each horizontal level evolve from Ionic, Corinthian and Composite, from the base upward. The upper levels gradually narrow into a triangular pediment at the top, which symbolizes the ultimate state of divine ascension – the Holy Spirit. The façade is mannerist in style carrying some distinctively oriental decorative motifs. The sculptured motifs of the façade include biblical images, mythological representations, Chinese characters, Japanese chrysanthemums, a Portuguese ship, several nautical motifs, Chinese lions, bronze statues with images of the founding Jesuit saints of the Company of Jesus and other elements that integrate influences from Europe, China and other parts of Asia, in an overall composition that reflects a fusion of world, regional and local influences. Nowadays, the façade of the Ruins of St. Paul’s functions symbolically as an altar to the city. The baroque/mannerist design of this granite façade is unique in China (as noted in UNESCO’s Atlas mundial de la arquitectura barroca). The Ruins of St. Paul’s are one of the finest examples of Macao’s outstanding universal value.Macau Heritage
Built between 1622 and 1638, this fortress was, together with Mount Fortress, invaluable in fending off the attempted Dutch invasion of 1622. Inside the fortress stands Guia Chapel, built around 1622, and Guia Lighthouse, dating from 1865, the first modern lighthouse on the Chinese coast. Macao takes its co-ordinates from the exact location of the lighthouse. Guia Chapel was originally established by Clarist nuns, who resided at the site before establishing the Convent of St. Clare. In 1998 frescoes were uncovered inside Guia Chapel during routine conservation work. The chapel’s elaborate frescoes depict representations of both western and Chinese themes, displaying motifs of religious and mythological inspiration that are a perfect example of Macao’s multicultural dimension. Guia Fortress, along with the chapel and lighthouse are symbols of Macao’s maritime, military and missionary past.Macau Heritage
Originally built by the Jesuits before 1560, this is one of the oldest churches of Macao. The present-day building was the result of the works carried out in 1846. Situated on the southern coastline of Macao overlooking the sea, families of Portuguese sailors used to gather on the front steps of the church to pray and wait for their return, hence it was given the name: Feng Shun Tang (Hall of the Soothing Winds).
St. Lawrence’s Church is a neo-classical structure. The main façade of the church is divided into three sections, with the centre flanked by the two square towers, each measuring around 21 metres high. The central section of the main façade is characterized by a pediment interrupted in the middle by an oval emblem. The ground plan of the church is in the shape of a Latin cross, measuring 37 metres by 29 metres. The shorter arms of the building form two interior chapels. The longer extension of the building corresponds to the main nave inside, with the main altar separated by a vaulted arch. Ornamented pillars and exquisite chandeliers create an elegant church interior, heightening its ambience.Macau Heritage