Famous Churches – The Cizhong Catholic Church, Yanmen Township, Yunnan Province, Southwest China


The Cizhong Catholic Church, Yanmen Township, Yunnan Province, Southwest China

The Cizhong Church is a Roman Catholic Church located near the Lancang (Mekong) River at Cizhong, Yunnan Province, China. The Cizhong Church is one of the few churches in Tibet that survived the Cultural Revolution. It was built by the French missionary in 1867, and subsequently incinerated during the Movement of Expelling Western Religions in 1905, it was reconstructed from 1909 to 1921.The church is a unique fusion of French and Chinese architectural styles. The overhanging eaves and roof of the church are Chinese style, while the cross on top is Western style. The Cizhong municipal government repaired the church in 1989 and then opened it to the public. Facing eastwards, Cizhong Catholic church is mainly constructed with brick and stone structures of French (Gothic) style; and its profile goes on a cross basis. At the entrance is a girdle-free stony staircase, 1.3 meters high; the arched porch is made of slab stones and is 6 meters long and 3 meters wide; above the porch is a three-storey belfry (watchtower), 20 meters high. The upper part of the belfry is a pavilion style with wooden pinnacles, employing 4 inner pillars and 12 outer pillars to support the ridge beams; and banisters are further built between the inner and outer pillars. The gate is composed of a couple of plank doors both of which are 2.72 meters high and 0.74 meter wide. The nave (or the chapel) is 22 meters long and 12.7 meters wide; there are 6 stone columns in two rows supporting the ridge; on the two sides of the navel, a vestry and bathroom are set respectively. The roof of the church is made from glazed tiles. The Cizhong  Catholic Church is listed as a key protected relic item by Yunnan Provincial Government in 1987 and it was listed as the key national cultural protection relics by the State Council in 2006.

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