Xizhimen Church China, Beijing

Xizhimen Church

The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (圣母圣衣堂), more often colloquially referred to as Xizhimen Church (西直门天主堂), is a Roman Catholic Church located on the southern side at No. 130 of Xizhimen Neidajie in Beijing. It is commonly referred to as Xitang (西堂, the West Church) to the locals.

The church at Xizhimen was the last among the four historic Catholic churches in Beijing. The West Church was first built in 1723 during the Qing dynasty by the Italian Lazarist missionary Teodorico Pedrini: it was the first non-Jesuit church in Beijing.

After Pedrini's death the church was run by Carmelites and then Augustinians, who were there when it was destroyed in 1811. The church was rebuilt in 1867. After a second destruction in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion, it was built again in 1912 as we can see it today.

Delicate Corinth pillars and Gothic peaked arches inside the church create a grand, elegant and solemn impression upon visitors.

There is red graffiti written on the church from the time of the Cultural Revolution, which the church deliberately retained.

Mass is conducted in French every Sunday at 11 a.m.

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