Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Built entirely of granite, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (nicknamed ‘Stone House’ or ‘shishi’) was constructed from 1863 – 1888. The cathedral was the labor of the first Bishop of the Archdiocese of Guangzhou, Phillipe Francois Zephirin Guillemin. Somewhat perturbed that a city with as many Catholics as Guangzhou should have no great church, Guillemin struggled for a good part of his life to have the cathedral built – finding the land, creating the plan, overseeing the building process and even securing a sizeable grant from Emperor Napoleon III for its construction as a means of solidifying French prestige in the East. The largest Gothic building in China and the largest church in Guangzhou, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart stands some 58 meters high and covers an area of 2700 square meters. A clock face sits in the cathedral’s west spire while the east spire serves as a bell tower – the copper bell inside having been brought out from France. The interior of the cathedral is suitably grand with some lovely stained glass windows and fourteen side chapels. The church is inaccessible outside of Mass times.
Admission: Free. Open: During Mass times (see below).
Address: 56 Yide Lu. Subway: Haizhu Square. Tel: +86 (020) 8339 9675.
Directions: Take Exit B2 from Haizhu Square subway station and walk straight (west) until you see the towering spires.
Mass Times: Monday – Saturday: 6:30am, 7am (in Cantonese). Saturday: 7:30pm (in Mandarin). Sunday: 6:30am, 8:30am (in Cantonese); 10:30am (in Mandarin); 3:30pm (in English).
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去耶穌聖心主教座堂, 谢谢。 (Please take me to the Sacred Heart Cathedral. Thank you.)