St. Michael’s Cathedral, Qingdao

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.

St. Michael's Cathedral

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.

Qingdao St. Michael's Cathedral

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.

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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.

15 comments

    1. Dear Pete,

      Wow, it has been a long time. The stations of the cross are still there. Worship ceremonies will be held on Sundays. You may find it’s very interesting that nowadays many newlyweds would like to have their wedding photos taken with the church in the background.

      Best wishes from China.

      Annie

      1. Hi Jim,

        Good morning.

        There is no mass on July 25.

        Weekend mass times for Sunday 26 July 2015: 06:00am, 08:00am, 18:00pm. They will be held at the church (No. 15 Zhejiang Road).

        Have a nice weekend.

        Annie

    1. Dear Alex:

      Here are the details on the mass times.

      Mass on weekdays: 06:00
      Sunday Mass: 06:00, 08:00, 18:00
      Easter Mass: 06:00 or 08:00 (if it falls on weekdays)
      06:00, 08:00, 18:00 (if it falls on sunday)
      Christmas Mass:06:00 (if it falls on weekdays)
      06:00, 08:00, 19:00 or 20:00 (if it falls on sunday)

      King Regards.

      Annie

      1. thanks for giving us this schedule of daily and sunday masses. Is this updated? Is this still the schedule? Are there other catholic churches in qingdao, preferably near shangrila? What is the schedule of mass?

        1. Dear Gloira,

          Thank you for your comments. I just double checked with the St. Michael’s Cathedral. The schedule of daily and sunday masses is still the same.

          As far as I know, there are other two small catholic churches in Qingdao – one in Sifang (No. 8 Zunhua Road) and the other in Cangkou (No. 34 Yongkang Road). Among them, St. Michael’s Cathedral is the most famous one and more close to the shangrila.

          Have a nice day.

          Annie

        1. Hi there,

          Please kindly find below the mass schedule of St. Michael Cathedral of Qingdao:

          Mass on weekdays: 06:00
          Sunday Mass: 06:00, 08:00, 18:00

          Best Wishes.

          Annie

          1. hi

            I want to attend morning mass on sunday september 27th the mass schedule is still the same 6 and 8 am?

            Will you be at this mass Annie?

            Thank you

          2. Hi Elie,

            The morning mass on Sunday (September 27th) will still take place at 06:00am and 08:00am. I will not be at that mass. I’m going home tomorrow to celebrate the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival with my family. Please leave me a message if I can help with anything.

            Have a nice weekend.

            Annie

  1. This was a very interesting article.
    In May of 1946, I had the privilege of attending the welcoming of Cardinal Tien at the Cathedral. There was an overflowing crowd and the ceremony was most impressive. Actually, I do not remember the Marine Corp Band! The rumor that I heard was that the priests were “White Russians”. My memory of the Stations of the Cross was that they were quite large and the relief was impressive.
    Back then; when ships came into the harbor, the quartermasters would take their alignments from the spires.

    1. Hi Pete,

      That was an exciting experience. I went to the church today to take some photos of the Stations of the Cross. I sent them to you by email since I wish you could see them again after 67 years. And I just hope these photos can add some colors to the recollections of your trip to Qingdao.

      Kind Regards.

      Annie

  2. Dear Annie:
    Sorry, if I misled you about the Stations of the Cross. My recollection was that they were probably about 1.5 meters long and about 1 meter in height. They were probably made of plaster or stone. The scenes depicted were bas-relief. They were suspended about three meters high.

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