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