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Catholic Churches in Beijing


When Christianity was introduced to China, it first secured its foothold in Beijing. Beijing became the first propaganda center of Catholicism.

Due to much trust and attention from the royalty, missionaries, mainly Jesuits, were allowed to build churches here. At present there are eight Catholic churches that belong to the Beijing parish. They are the Eastern Church, Western Church, Southern Church, Northern Church, St. Michael's Church, Nangangzi Church, Pingfang Church and Dongguantou Church. Nine other churches are in the suburb.

As Catholicism originated in western countries, the churches in Beijing resemble western ones in terms of architectural style. Most of them are Romanesque and Gothic architectures. According to Chinese custom of making important architectures face southward, most Catholic churches in Beijing face south (while western churches face east). Because of the ascending trend brought by Gothic architecture's towering spire and forceful pointed arches inside and the priest's mysterious voice brought by the purposive long reverberation, Gothic architecture gained special favors from wrights of the churches, and affected the architectural style of quite a few churches.

Catholicism embraces the Madonna. There are Virgin Mary hills or Virgin Mary pavilions constructed for her outside each Catholic church. These so-called hills are rockeries that are peculiar to Chinese gardens.

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