Located in the oldest part of Qingdao, at 15 Zhejiang Road, on the east side of Zhongshan Road in Shinan District, St. Michael’s Cathedral is the largest Gothic building in Qingdao, and the only consecrated church in China as well as a masterpiece of Christian architecture. Local citizens of Qingdao used to call it the Catholic Church.
This Catholic Church was designed in Gothic and Romanesque architecture styles by a German architect. Started in 1932 and completed in 1934, the church covers an area of 11,480 square meters, of which the construction area occupies 6,301 square meters.
The church is built by yellow granite and reinforced concrete with the surface carved with simple and elegant textures. Windows were designed to be semi-circular arched with smooth lines, which together make them solemn and simple. Above the gate is a huge rose window, flanked by two clock towers on both sides. The tower is 56 meters high. Two 4.5 meters-high huge crosses erect on the cone shaped spires that covered by red tiles respectively. Four clocks are suspended in the towers and once the bells toll, the voice travels miles away.
Stepping into the church, a bright and spacious lobby comes into view, which is up to 18 meters high and can accommodate as many as 1,000 people. Soft light passes through the stained glass window. On both sides of the lobby there are corridors. At the far end of the hall there are two big altars and four small ones. Decorations of the church adopt the Italian Renaissance form. The dome is painted with saint fresco that highlights the strong religious atmosphere in the dazzling lights. The top of the church is covered with red tongue-like tiles—grand and exquisite. Seven large chandeliers hang on the ceiling together with the altar at the back and the dome fresco exhibit the solemnity of the church.
During the Cultural Revolution, this church was seriously damaged. After several years of repair, it was re-opened in April 1981. The religious activities of the Catholic Church are still active. Worship ceremonies will be held on Sundays, when the hall is full of believers. The priest presides the mass, the followers sing fair-sounding anthems with the accompaniment of a piano and pray devoutly. The Easter and Christmas are grand festivals for Catholics. Ceremonious felicitation rites are held in the church every year with a passionate festive atmosphere.