Upon pushing aside the heavy iron gate and entering within the front courtyard from East Legation Street, one is confronted with an unexpectedly large space on the opposite side of which a small elevated platform and the majestic front of the St. Michaels Church.
Left adjacent the courtyard is a small brick atelier behind of which the outer wall seperating the church grounds from former Avenue Marco Polo, the busy road of which not much is noticable inside of here. On the right hand and east-side of the courtyard is a low brick adnex building in which the information office and daily administration of the Church is located.
Go inside the office to ask for the proper mass time or just to say "Hi!", make your compliments and/or ask for other information on Beijing Church activities.
A Frontal View of the Gothic St. Michaels Church from the Front Gate.
Architecture of Beijing's St. Michaels Church
St. Michaels is a formerly French Jesuit Church constructed for the use of the French Foreign Civilians and Officials affiliated with the French Legation (or Embassy) in 1902 AD, hence it is constructed in the Gothic Style.
Twin spires and many small ornaments adorn this obviously small but luxurious Church of the French Legation.
When compared to similar western Gothic churches such as the enormous Notre Dame of Paris, the Beijing St. Michaels is but a small church, much more modest in decorations, size and grandeur, however the Church is one of only few such historic churches in Beijing, remnants of the Colonial Age and China's First contacts with the west and the western religion of Christianity.
Courtyard and Front of St. Michaels Church with its typical gothic twin spires and the Pride of the Church - the Statue of St. Michael.
Closer view of Gothic Details and the Statue of St. Michael.
Looking up at the Gothic Details, Twin Spires and the Statue of St. Michael.
structures were re-used and were re-opened still as a communist cadre school. However, some of the relics taken from the Jesuit Cemetary grounds can today be viewed in exhibitions at the Northern Courts the Five Pagoda Temple, located behind Beijing Zoo. Among the relics - the tomb stone of Matteo Ricci himself !
Apart from the Statue of St. Michael, the guardian of the Church, the front of the
Adjacent the front gate colorful boards give mass times and information on church activities. Others show pictures of recent important ceremonies and events at the Church.
Another board gives some basic historical information on the Church, and some fine photos of the exterior and interior of St. Michaels Church during Ceremonies.
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Eastern Garden of the Church and a view of buildings of the Christian Church that is affiliated with St. Michaels and part of the historic and cultural heritage site.
Eastern flank of the Church with Garden, Pavilion and Christian Church.
Overview of the Courtyard, adnex buildings and the Iron Entrance Gate
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Chinese Statue of St. Paul holding a sword. His name inscribed underneath in Chinese.
The Front Gate of St.Michaels and some of the historic stained glass windows.
Frontal View of St. Michaels Church from the Front Gate 2.
Among these Churches, the St
welcome and friendly interest in the church is encouraged.
Michaels is among the best preserved. Especially its stained-glass windows are locally famous and as this Church was reconstructed after the previous one was layed to waste during the boxer war, the original ones from 1902 AD.
Although Beijing Churches were closed on order from the Beijing City Government during the Cultural Revolution Period from 1966 to 1976, when China was under the influence of ultra-leftist thought and anti-foreign suspicions flew high, the St. Michaels was never systematically attacked or its windows or decorations broken. Only the crosses on its outer walls, in easy reach from the street, were knocked off by anti-imperialist Revolutionary Youths.
The Bones of several Jesuit Clergy, among whom the famous Matteo Ricci and Father Ferdinand Verbiest, were removed and destroyed. The Semetary grounds and ->
Left and on the West stands the Statue of St. Paul holding his sword.
The second statue on the Right and East side stands the Statue of St.dddd, holding a key and books.
The Church faces south according to the feng shui chinese custom in which important and/or sacred buildings face to the South to protect them from unholy spirits entering.
A look back at the turbulent Life of the Polish Priest later Pope John Paul the 2nd.
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church is decorated with the Statues of two Christian Saints.
Photos of Masses and Special Events at the St. Michael Church on Display in front of the Church. The Collection includes a great photo of the Pastor.
A View of the Small Front Courtyard, Holy Rockery and the Heavy Iron Main Gate.
The Rockery created
by this Austrian
Mother still marks
the spot today.
It one always carries a Fresh Statue of Mariah, the holy mother, which is regularly refreshed and always looks bright and shining.
Adjacent buildings in the East house a small reception office, whereas the buildings in the west are used as workshops and gathering and teaching space.
If the gate is unlocked but no one can be found in the courtyard, just make some noise, or knock on the doors of the eastern buildings to see if anyone is available to welcome you.
Most of the times this is the case. Recently, priest and clergy have been exchanged with Rome, and english speaking visitors can be helped too.
Some of the historic stained glass windows. In Europe and the West they may be inspectacular, however for China they are a rare sight.
to study your surroundings. As described above and on the short introduction on the board,this is one of China and Beijing's most historic Churches, and the current Pastor and Nuns are quite proud of their station. Everyone is respectfully welcome to ask to have a look around, ask questions and of course join at mass time !
Apart from its Heavy Main Doors, which are only opened for Grand Ceremony and Funerals, the Church has a side-entrance in the Eastern Wall.
Head around the corner from the Courtyard and impressive front to find a green hedge and some spacious green grass.
Behind and beyond this small Tea Garden and playground lies the St.Michaels Catholic Church of Beijing.
The school is equally historic as the St.Michaels Church and is even under United Nations protection.
Although not much is known about the history of the school, perticularly after 1949 and during the Cultural Revolution, todays St.Michaels school is operational
and well visited.
It was among the first schools in Beijing to provide english language exam possibilities.
Recent Religious Events at Beijing's St. Michaels Church
Parish Priest of St. Michael Church in 2007 is Father Gao Yang.
After its reopening on Christmas Eve of 1989 AD things have gone well for the Church at DongJiaoMin.
In the year 2007 activities have included Mass baptism.
small chinese garden rockery. It was created by an Austrian Superior Mother, during the immediate aftermath of the Boxer War, on the spot where a chinese mine attack had blown up 80 people that were seeking refuge in the Cathedral. Apart from killing and maiming many the explosion left a gaping hole in the ground and breached the outer wall of the Church.