Sacred Heart Cathedral
Guangzhou is considered as a very busy place. This has absorbed many modernizations and influences from other cultures. However, there is one iconic structure which still stands among the more urbane structures in this place. That is, the Sacred Heart Cathedral. This is also referred to as the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Sacred Heart Cathedral is an embodiment of the presence of the Roman Catholic religion in Guangzhou. It has served as a landmark for the tourists. More importantly, this is known as the seat for the Archbishop of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Guangzhou.
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In all of China, the Sacred Heart Cathedral is considered as the largest of its kind. Up until today, this has served as a place of worship for the Catholics who reside within the area.
Because of the magnificence of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, some people who are devout would go the extra mile to be able to spend time in this church. They would travel the long way just to hear mass in here.
The original construction of the Sacred Heart Cathedral was done during the time of Emperor Napoleon III. He was the one who provided funding for its construction, along with the support from French Catholics. The overall design of the Sacred Heart Cathedral was created by Leon Vautrin, an architect from France. The church was finished in 1888. Because of the foreign influence during the creation of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, it is pretty obvious until today that its overall appeal is far different from the looks of the other ancient Chinese structures.
The façade of the Sacred Heart Cathedral is grandiose. It is pretty noticeable how much western influence was put into its creation. It has two towers which are situated at each side of the structure, each one tapers towards the top. The large windows are adorned by French-inspired decorations which showcase elaborate details. The main entrance of the church also reflects turgid aesthetics.
Since the Sacred Heart Cathedral was erected many years ago, this has also endured damage from wars and harsh weather conditions. To be able to preserve its appeal, the government, as well as the Catholics in this place, exerted effort to have restorations done.
In the interior of the church, it is quite noticeable that the overall design has a European Gothic feel. What makes this place even more astounding is the fact that it is made of pure granite stones. That includes the walls, pillars and everything else.
The cathedral looks very regal, both outside and inside. All in all, it is about 35 meters wide, and 78.9 meters long. The height of the towers reaches up to 58.5 meters high. The two towers are very interesting too. The west tower functions as the clock tower. On the other hand, the east tower is considered as the bell tower. Initially, there are five giant bells which hung in this tower. Today, there are only four remaining because the other one has been donated to another local church in Guangxi.
For the locals, they refer to the Sacred Heart Cathedral as the stone house because of its solid and sturdy construction. It remains as a symbol for the strong Catholic religion in the province. Aside from that, this also proves that Catholicism has also been part of the rich culture of the province, even from centuries ago.
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