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Xuanwumen Catholic Church

xuanwumen-catholic-church01 Then Xuanwumen Catholic Church was first erected in the middle of the 16th century on the former site of the Donglin party, a political clique active in the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

xuanwumen-catholic-churchWhen the Italian missionary Matteo Ricci came to China during the reign of Emperor Wanli in Ming Dynasty, the emperor provided him with a residence which stood slightly west of the cathedral. Xuanwumen Catholic Churchwas rebuilt in 1657 during the reign of Emperor Shunzhi of the Qing Dynasty. It was severely damaged by earthquakes in 1775 and 1900, and was rebuilt in 1904 to its present form.

The main components of the 100-year-old building remain unchanged with one exception-its wooden support columns have been replaced by brick-and-mortar columns decorated with stone mosaics.

Today the cathedral remains in excellent condition. Masses conducted by more than 10 Chinese Fathers attract an increasing number of Chinese and foreign worshipers every Sunday, and the church is always crowded during Easter and Christmas.