Unique Churches – Dali Catholic Church, Xinmin Road, Dali Town, China


Dali Catholic Church, Xinmin Road, Dali Town, China

An ancient City Dali was the gateway to the Silk Road in Southwest China, it also served as seat of government and a major military barracks for Yunnan Province in ancient times. Dali Catholic Church is located in Xinmin Road of Dali Ancient Town. It was originally built in 1927 by a French Bishop Ye Meizhang. It has a covered area of 470 square meters, length is about 36 meters and the width is about 13 meters. The complex is a typical post and lintel construction in the style of double eaves with hip and gable walls; its lower and upper eaves both employ corbel arches and flying eaves, every arch has four buttresses engraved with Chinese traditional fortunate animals and birds such as Dragon and Phoenix etc. In the east of the church, an altar has been built for Virgin Mary; while in the west, it’s a gate tower modeled after Bai minority traditional residence whose top is a vestry roofed with eaves at four corners. The gate tower also employs multi-layer corbel arches and flying eaves, all of which are of superb workmanship. As a whole, the church complex adopts wooden structures of Bai minority style and thus is deemed as a combination of Chinese and Western architectures.

During the Cultural Revolution in China severe damage was caused to the church and it was closed. In 1984 the church was renovated by the Religious Department and was listed under the History Protection since 1985.

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