South Cathedral

sights / Religious

Lonely Planet review

Běijīng’s South Cathedral was built on the site of the house of Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, who brought Catholicism to China. Since being completed in 1703, the church has been destroyed three times, including being burnt down in 1775, and endured a trashing by anti-Christian forces during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. The church is today decorated with modern stained glass, fake marbling, red carpets, portraits of the Stations of the Cross and cream-coloured confessionals, while black bibles in Chinese lie stacked about and the occasional local nun makes an appearance. It’s absolutely jammed on Christmas Eve and Good Friday.