St Nicholas Church

in French Concession

A short walk west along Gaolan Rd from Fuxing Park is rewarded by the distinctive shape of the vacant and now derelict St Nicholas Church, one of Shanghai’s small band of Russian Orthodox houses of worship. It was originally built for the huge influx of Russians who arrived in Shanghai in the 1930s.

Dating from 1934, the church has a typically varied CV, ranging from shrine to washing-machine factory to French restaurant. It was spared desecration during the Cultural Revolution by a portrait of Mao Zedong, hung strategically from the dome. The building is not open to the public.