china edition


Southern Church

The oldest Catholic Church in Beijing, the Southern Church (Xuanwumen), also known as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, is located in the Xuanwumen area.

Southern ChurchThe church was first erected in 1650 on the former site of the Donglin Party, a political group active in the late Ming dynasty.

The church was rebuilt in 1657 during the reign of Emperor Shunzi of the Qing dynasty. It was severely damaged by earthquakes in 1775 and 1900 and was rebuilt in 1904 to its present form. The main components of the 100 year old church remain unchanged with one exception; its wooden support columns have been replaced by brick and mortar columns decorated with stone mosaics.

Today it remains in excellent condition. Masses conducted by more than 10 Chinese Fathers attract an increasing number of Chinese and foreign Catholics every Sunday and the church is always crowded during Easter and Christmas.