Cathedral of St. Joseph

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.[1] 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

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