Hongjialou Cathedral Church is located in Licheng District, east part of Jinan. It is also named as Hongjialou Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. It is one of the most famous churches in Jinan, as well as a landmark or a symbol of Jinan. It is named after the village of Hongjialou Building Complex. It is considered one of the three most famous Catholic churches in China, occupying an important position in the modern Chinese architectures. In 2006, it was rated as the National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit.
Development process of Hongjialou Cathedral Church
The Hongjialou Catholic Church was constructed due to the indemnity of the "Peace Treaty" in 1900 of the late Qing Dynasty. The church was designed by the Austrian designer Bro. Corbinius Panger and constructed by Chinese workers. The construction work started in 1901, and was completed in May of 1905.
In 1937, during the Anti-Japanese War, the invaders occupied Jinan in as short time. The church was damaged and some believers were killed.
In September 1948, a bomb fell in the courtyard of the church, but the lobby did not suffer much damage. In 1966, Hongjialou Catholic Church was closed and the religious activities ceased from 1966 to 1983.
In April 1985, the government allocated the special funds to fully repair the 6 crosses, 96 stone towers, frescoes, icons, floors, kneeling stools, altars, lamps and other facilities of the church. On the Christmas Day of 1985, the church was finally reopened to the public after nearly 20 years.
Features of Hongjialou Cathedral Church
The Hongjialou Catholic Church faces to the east with a typical Gothic architectural style. The design of the church is "cross-shaped", symbolizing the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. The construction area of the church is about 2,600 square meters. The hall can accommodate 1,000 people to do the religious activities at the same time.
Although Hongjialou Catholic Church is a relatively Western-style building, people can still see some details of the traditional Chinese cultural elements. The roof of the main hall is covered with the traditional Chinese black tiles. There are two stone dragon heads carved on the upper stone wall on both sides of the door. The dragon's mouth and eyes are widely open, vivid and exaggerated. There are also some crane murals carved inside the church.