North Cathedral (Bei Tang)

The largest Catholic Church in Beijing, the imposing, gothic North Cathedral has been standing in its current location Bei Tang (North Cathedral)since 1887. Originally built on a different spot in 1703, the church was demolished by the orders of Emperor Daoguang in 1827. A new cathedral was completed in 1866 before being moved to its present home 21 years later. The cathedral was served another blow and severely damaged in 1900 when a small Italian and French force managed to defend some 3000 Chinese Christians holed up inside against the Boxers. Approached along a tree-lined path from the south, the North Cathedral stand quite majestically, straddle by two Chinese pagodas. Inside the cathedral is colorful with a red and green motif, stained glass windows and numerous statues. Entrance is free and the people working there are very friendly. Mass is held every morning.

Admission: Free. Open: 9am-5pm.

Directions: The North Cathedral is just off Xishiku Dajie, near where it meets Xi’anmen Dajie. It is directly west of Jade Islet in Beihai Park. From Xisi subway station (Line 4) head south along Xisi Nan Lu, turn left into Xi’anmen Dajie, and then left again when you reach Xishiku Dakie.

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去北堂,谢谢。地址:西什库大街33号。 (Please take me to North Cathedral. Thank you.)