Beijing - St. Joseph's Catholic Church

China in the 21st CenturyCreated by Ted Mitchell


Saint Josephs Catholic Church - Beijing
St. Joseph's Catholic Church

St. Joseph's Catholic Church Slideshow

St. Joseph's Catholic Church (Downloadable Pictures)

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the South Cathedral, is a historic Roman Catholic Church. While the original foundation of the cathedral was in 1605, making it the oldest Catholic church in Beijing, the current building in the Baroque style dates from 1904.
When the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci arrived in Beijing, Emperor Wanli permitted him a residence slightly to the west of the site of the current cathedral, in the Xuanwumen district. Attached to this residence was a small chapel, in Chinese style, with only the presence of a cross atop the entrance to distinguish it as a church. This was at the time referred to as the Xuanwumen Chapel. In 1650, under the leadership of the German Jesuit Johann Adam Schall von Bell, work on a new church building was begun on the site of the chapel. The church then became a cathedral in 1690 when it received its first Roman Catholic bishop and was then enlarged in 1703. However, since then the cathedral was gone through a few events. Firstly it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1720. It was then damaged by fire in 1775 and it was raised to the ground during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.