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The Xishiku Catholic Church(Northern Church)

Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:45 pm
by inbeijing
Telephone: 8610-66175198 Address: 33 Xishiku Avenue, Xicheng district Bus: 103,109 or 101 and get off at Xianmen station

The Xishiku Catholic Church, also called Xishiku Church (or Salvador Church, meaning Christ Church), is located west of Zhongnanhai, at Canchikou and west of the Ziguang Pavilion, so it is also called the Canchikou Church. The sanctuary was later moved to Xishiku Street as the Catholic North Church.

The Xishiku Church is now the largest Catholic Church in Beijing and the Beijing Cardinal Bishop's office is also located here. The style of the building is in typical Gothic style and it is famous for its grand architecture. Originally, it was land bestowed by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty who also hand-wrote the calligraphic plaque and couplets for the building. Two pavilions with green glazed tile roofs were built on each side in front of the church with stone columns and stone lions surrounding and guarding the place of worship resulting in the architectural style of Chinese gardens.

Built in 1890 by a French mission, the church was formerly the centre of a great complex of schools, orphanages and hospitals. The building has a tall, wide nave with side aisles, octagonal transepts and a huge sanctuary. There are many chandeliers and large, painted Stations of the Cross, antique stained glass and the remains of old wall decorations.

Opening hours: 5:00-11:00, 14:00-17:00

1. Shaguoju Restaurant
Shaguoju was set up in the 6th year of Emperor Qianlong' s reign in the Qing Dynasty or 1741, and mainly offered Plain Meat in Casserole. According to the historical records, Plain Meat was the top-class sacrifice used in the palaces of the Qing Dynasty. Shaguoju was located in the watchman' s house outside the prince' s mansion where the night watchmen were given the leftovers after sacrificial ceremonies. Later the watchmen asked the chef from the mansion to boil the meat in a big casserole with traditional Manchu cooking methods as braising, singeing and plain boiling, thus the Plain Meat Casserole came into being and bestowed its fame for three hundred years.

Address: Xisi South Avenue, Xicheng district
Telephone: 8610-66061874/ 66021126

2. Beihai Park
Beihai Park is an AAAA tourist attraction and a key historic site under national protection. Its east and south sides are close to the Palace Museum. It can be reached by many bus routes. The park used to be an imperial palace serving for the emperors of five dynasties (Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing) and their families to stay for a short time, handle political affairs, or offer sacrifices. At the age of 800, it is the earliest built and best preserved imperial garden in the world.

All Beijing churches will offer Christmas services for Christians in Beijing. So far, there are eight churches within Beijing. They include the Eastern Church (Wangfujing Catholic Church), Western Church (Xizhimen Church), Southern Church (Xuanwumen Catholic Church), Northern Church (Xishiku Catholic Church), St. Michael's Church, Nangangzi Church, Pingfang Church and Dongguantou Church. Nine other churches are located in Beijing's suburbs.

Christmas services at the four churches are usually held at these times:

6 pm, December 24: Mass.
7 pm to 10 pm December 24: Open for all visitors.
11 pm to 1:30 am (next morning): Mass time for Catholics who have entrance tickets. The ticket is usually offered free of charge before December 23 at the church.
From 6 am to 11 am, December 25: mass is usually conducted every hour