The Church of the Saviour, commonly known as the North Church (Beitang) or the Xishiku Catholic Church (also called Xishiku Church), is a historic Catholic church and the largest Catholic Church in Beijing. Of all the cathedrals and churches located in Beijing, the Xishiku Catholic Church is one of the most ornate and magnificent churches. The style of the building is in typical Gothic style and it is famous for its grand architecture.
The Xishiku Catholic Church, built by the Jesuits in 1703, was originally located at Canchiguo in Zhongnanhai (opposite the former Beijing Library), a land bestowed by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty, who also hand-wrote the calligraphic plaque and couplets for the building. In 1887 the church was moved to the current place because Empress Dowager Cixi ordered to enlarge Zhongnanhai, which is now an area used as the headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party and formerly home to leading Communists like Chairman Mao, Deng Xiaoping and Zhou Enlai. After it added one more level in 1900 it became the current Xishiku Catholic Church.
The Xishiku Catholic Church was redesigned in a Gothic style with elaborate grey marble facade. It formerly occupied a quite large amount of land, with a library, garden, printing factory, orphanage, hospital, and women’s school, much bigger than what you see now. The building has a tall, wide nave with side aisles, octagonal transepts and a huge sanctuary. There are many chandeliers and large, painted Stations of the Cross, antique stained glass and the remains of old wall decorations. Two pavilions with green glazed tile roofs were built on each side in front of the church with stone columns and stone lions surrounding and guarding the place of worship, adding the architectural style of Chinese gardens.
In 1958, this church belonged to the government and in 1985 on Christmas Eve it resumed as a church. The Xishiku Catholic Church is now the largest Catholic Church in Beijing, standing in a spacious grounds surrounded by pine and oak tree. It is also the place where the Beijing Cardinal Bishop Office is located.
Add: No. 33 Xishiku Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing.
Getting there: You can take bus 103,109 or 101 and get off at Xianmen station. The church is easy to access by subway via line 4 (station: Xisi). The church l is located at the west of the Forbbiden City and Beihai Lake.
Monday – Saturday: 06:00am, 07:00am
Sunday: 06:00am, 07:00am, 08:00am, 10:00am, 18:00pm