Xujiahui Catholic Church is located at Puxi Street of Shanghai’s Xuhui District. It is the largest Catholic Church in the city and China’s first western style church, it can entertain about 3,000 people at one time. The church was established in 1904, its formal name is St. Ignacio’s Cathedral. It follows a typical Gothic style in middle ages. The building is narrow. There are two Gothic towers of 60 meters high, and the principal part of the church is at the center. The roof is covered with tiles. The church is decorated with many sculptures of the Holy Son and the God. The church has a heart-shaped arch, which is full of catholic atmosphere. In the hall there are 64 carved circular columns, which are connected with the arches at the top. There are ambulatories on the top of both sides. The arch of the hall is high. On the altar far from the door stands the sculpture of Mary holding the Baby Jesus and looking down the whole hall. There is an Our Lady of Lourdes small altar behind the main altar. The famous religion painting “The Last Supper” hangs on the back wall. With colored glasses enchased, the windows of the church look delicate and fine. A garden is in front of the church. The cathedral was damaged and sabotaged during “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” in 1966 and was closed for a decade to public, serving only as a warehouse until 1978 when it was re-opened. It has undergone renovation and replacement of its stained glass for the Shanghai World Expo 2010.
There are thousands of Christians living in the surrounding areas; therefore, the church has to hold several masses in the early morning. On Sunday, the church hall is full with local christians. The Xujiahui Catholic Church has been listed as one of the protected cultural heritage in Shanghai Municipality.