Overview of St. Ignatius Cathedral
St. Ignatius Cathedral, also known as the Xujiahui Cathedral (Chinese: 徐家汇天主教堂), is a Neo-Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral, located in Xujiahui, Shanghai, China. Since 1960, St Ignatius has been the seat of the Bishop of Shanghai and the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shanghai.
It was designed by the English architect William Doyle in 1904 and built by French Jesuits from 1906 to 1910. This building adopts a cross-shaped plan and its main body is made of brick and wood. At the front stands a pair of belfries which are both 57 meters high.
The first church at Zikawei (now spelled Xujiahui) was built in 1851. A medium-sized, Greek style church was built in 1851 (demolished in the 1980s to make way for the new headquarters of the Shanghai Diocese).With the growth of Zikawei as a center of Catholicism, a new, larger church was commissioned. Designed by English architect William Doyle, and built by French Jesuits between 1906 and 1910, it is said to have once been known as "the grandest church in the Far East." It can accommodate 2,500 worshippers at the same time.
In 1966, at the opening of the Cultural Revolution, Red Guards from Beijing vandalized the cathedral, tearing down its spires and ceiling, and smashing its roughly 300 square meters of stained glass. Red Guards also beat up priests and nuns at the church. Powerless to resist, Bishop Aloysius Zhang Jiashu knelt at the altar and prayed until he was dragged away - for the duration of the Cultural Revolution, he was "sent down" for labour, repairing umbrellas and washing bottles. For the next ten years the Cathedral served as a state-owned grain warehouse.
In 1978 the cathedral was re-opened, and the spires were restored in the early 1980s.
In 1989, the first-ever Chinese language Mass was celebrated in St. Ignatius by order of Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian.
The building's restoration is continuing. In 2002, Wo Ye, a Beijing-born artist, and Father Thomas Lucas, a Jesuit from the University of San Francisco, began a five-year project to replace the cathedral's stained glass windows.
Since 2014, the sculpture of Holy Mary, Chinese Empress, created by the Spanish sculptor Antonio Jesús Yuste Navarro, is venerated there.
The St.Ignatius Cathedral must be the Gothic architecture,It is an architectural style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Originating in 12th century France and lasting into the 16th century, Gothic architecture was known during the period as Opus Francigenum ("French work") with the term Gothic first appearing during the later part of the Renaissance. Its characteristics include the pointed arch, the ribbed vault (which evolved from the joint vaulting of Romanesque architecture) and the flying buttress. Gothic architecture is most familiar as the architecture of many of the great cathedrals, abbeys and churches of Europe. It is also the architecture of many castles, palaces, town halls, guild halls, universities and to a less prominent extent, private dwellings, such as dorms and rooms.
Transportation：Xujiahui Station of Metro Line 1.
Address: No.158 Puxi Road, XujiahuiDistrict
Phone number: 021-64690930
Admission Fee: Free
Open Time: Daily Mass 7am
Duration：6 - 8 hours
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