The Xujiahui Catholic Church was constructed between 1906 and 1911. It was built in Gothic style and can hold up to 2,500 believers. The church was designed by the French architect W.M. Dowdall and a French building company carried out the construction works. Characteristic of the cathedral are the two bell towers on each side of the main entrance, each 56 m high. The church is 83.2 m long and 26 m high; it is 28 m wide in the nave, and 34 m in the transept. After the Cultural Revolution, the church was officially reopened on November 1, 1979 and the two spires were reset on the towers before Christmas 1982. Xujiahui is named after Xu Guangqi, the famous scholar who was baptised here in 1603 taking the baptismal name of Paul. The Xu family is still living in the area.
- Matteo Ricci (1552 - 1610) and Paul Xu Guangqi (1562 - 1633)
Xu Guangqi was one of the first Catholics in China. Born in Shanghai in 1562, he was a forerunner of modern science in China. From a humble teacher in the southern province, he gradually progressed until he became President of the Board of Rites and a member of the Council of State in the Ming Dynasty. Throughout his life Xu had a deep regard for natural science, astronomy and mathematics. As a young man he met the famous Italian Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci and became one of his students as well as a good friend of his.
Xu Guanqi‘s Grave in Shanghai
Paul Xu Guangqi was buried in his hometown Xujiahui, which today belongs to Shanghai. His wife, four grandchildren and their wives were buried inside his big tomb, too. In 1903, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Xu Guangqi’s baptism, the church installed a white marble cross and renovated the tomb. The grave was destroyed during the anti-Japanese war and the Cultural Revolution though. In 1983, the Government of Shanghai City renovated Xu's tomb and changed the name of Nandan Park, where his grave is situated, to Guangqi Park. In 1988, the Chinese State Council declared his tombstone one of the nation’s main cultural monuments.
Puxi Lu 158, Xuhui District
上海市，徐家汇蒲西路158 号, 徐汇区
Sundays: 7:00, 8:00, 10:00 and 18:00 (Chinese)
Weekdays: 6:15 and 7:00 (Chinese)
Saturdays: 6:15, 7:00, 16:30 and 18:00 (Chinese)
The St. Petrus Church was built in Byzantine style between 1933 and 1934. During the Cultural Revolution it was used by the government and was returned to the Diocese of Shanghai in 1994. In January 1995, the church was torn down and was rebuilt by 1996, very similar to the original one, to the west of the original place. The new St. Petrus Church’s surface area is 4,000 m². In this church, there are Masses in English and German.
Chongqing Nanlu 270, Luwan District
Bus stop: Cultural Palace, in front of the 2nd city-hospital
地址：重庆南路270 号, 卢湾区
Sundays: 6:30, 8:00 (Chinese), 12:00 (English), 15:00* (German)
Weekdays: 7:00 (Chinesisch)
Saturdays: 17:00 (English)
*Here you can find the dates for the church services in German.
The Church of Christ the King is 5 minutes walk north of the Jinjiang Hotel at the corner between the Julu Lu and the Maoming Nanlu. The church is situated on the ground floor of a building which is partly used for Catholic activities. This land was given to the church in exchange for the lot where the Jinjiang Hotel was built. The church is modern and bright with a window glass on one side and a painting of the Good Shepherd on the other side.
Julu Lu 361, Luwan District
The St. Francis Xaver Church in Dongjiadu was built from 1847 to 1853 by the Jesuits. In contrast to the Xujiahui Cathedral, which was built in western style, the Dongjiadu Church combines in its architectural style both Chinese and western elements. While it is an early Spanish baroque style church, there are for instance Chinese couplets in the outside walls at both sides of the main entrance and low reliefs designed with lotus flowers inside the church.
Dongjiadu Lu 185, Huangpu District
Bus lines: 11 (West), 65 (East)
公共汽车：11 路，65 路
Sundays: 8:30 (Chinese), 10:30 and 12:30 (English)
The Sacred Heart Church was originally situated in the village of Zhangjialou but was displaced due to urban planning measures in 1993. In 2000, the church was pulled down and its new foundation was laid at the Biyun international complex. On June 28, 2003, the new Church with an area of 1,792 m² reopened. By virtue of the fast development of the district and the rising foreign population there have been English Masses, too, since 2005.
Jinqiaozhen Hongfeng Lu 151, Pudong District
金桥镇红枫路151 号, 浦东新区
Sundays: 8:00 and 18:45 (Chinese), 10:30 (English)
Weekdays: 7:00 (Chinese)
Saturdays: 17:00 (English)
In 1863, the Catholic Church in Shanghai purchased land to build houses on the western side of Sheshan. In 1866, a hexagonal pavilion was built for the statue of Our Lady and an altar was set up. From 1871 to 1873 a church was built at the top of the mountain and Our Lady, Help of Christians, was proclaimed its patron. Construction work on the present basilica first began in 1925 and was completed ten years later. The architect of this church was the Portuguese priest Diniz. The Basilica faces west. Its length is 56 m from east to west, its breadth is 25 m from north to south, its vault is 17 m and its tower 38 m high. The plane of the church is cruciform. The altar is made of marble and the statue of the Blessed Virgin stands in the middle of it, becoming a point of focus. During the Cultural Revolution the basilica and its dependencies were either destroyed or used by other units. In March 1981, the Government of Shanghai decided, in fulfillment of its policy of freedom of religion, to return the Sheshan Basilica to the Diocese of Shanghai. With the support of the government, the diocese renovated all areas where activities were held. Every year in May, Sheshan becomes a pilgrimage for Catholics from all over the world.
The main yearly celebration on the Sheshan is the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, on May 24.
The mid-level Church was built in 1894. On the sides of the main door the following inscription can be found:
"Rest awhile by the small chapel half-way up the hill and offer your reverence. The sanctuary is up on the mountain top. Climb a few steps more and implore the mercies of the Mother of God." The pavilions of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and the Sacred Heart of Jesus are collectively known as the Pavilions of the Three Holy Ones. From 1982 to 1986, the buildings next to the church served as a seminary.
At the bottom of the Sheshan’s hill, Songjiang District
ca. 35 km distant from Shanghai
References: Jean Charbonnier, MEP, Guide to the Catholic Church in China. Zhongguo tianzhujiao zhinan 中国天主教指南, Singapore 2008; Tianzhujiao Shanghai jiaoqu 天主教上海教区. Catholic Shanghai Diocese, Shanghai 2012; www.catholicsh.org.