The big church Guide

-Travel to The big church

According to Travel Guide to Harbin, St. Sophia Church in Harbin is the largest Eastern Orthodox Church in the Far East. It was built in 1907 by Russians and is the only one of several Orthodox churches in Harbin. Recently, the interior of the church was restored, but left in as much of its original state as possible. Inside the church is a museum that explains the history of the church and of Harbin. In 1996, the city government declared Saint Sophia Church a protected building. Half a year later, the Harbin City government repaired it and renamed it as Harbin Art Gallery. It is a respectable landmark for Harbiners and for travellers.

St. Sophia Church has a complex history. Shortly after the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), the Russian built the church of timber in March, 1907. Then, the Russian rebuilt it using masonry and timber four years later. The onset of a second reconstruction by Russian was marked on September 23rd, 1923. And a ceremony was held to celebrate laying the corner stone. It was completed on November 25th, 1932. Nine years later, it was hailed as a monumental work of art.

The church was built using Byzantine styles with a mixture of Chinese and Russian culture. Inside the church there are also famous murals painted by Russian artists as well as seven timepieces that sound seven different notes. The main part of the church is in the shape of a cross and on sunny days, the church reminds people of the Red Square in Moscow. By the 1990's, St. Sophia had undergone considerable decline. The church no longer was in use, and residential apartments and office buildings surrounded it. Magnificent Russian painted murals that adorned the church's arched walls were destroyed out of recognition. While in 1997, the Harbin government undertook to undo the decades of deterioration. But as the original Russian murals were lost completely, they were replaced by topically new murals depicting the architectural history of the Harbin community. And crosses that were removed in six places were replaced.
Here are some guide information about Sophia Church. The detail is following :
Address: No.88 of Toulongjie, Daoli District, Harbin
Admission Fee: 20RMB for p.p
Opening hours: 08:00 a.m-18:00 p.m
Contact Hotline: 86 451 84686904

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User Comments

Name:Activity in St. Sophia Church Reply

Our family will be in Harbin at the end of this year, and we are wondering if there is any mass or activity in St. Sophia Church on Christmas? If so, is it open to public? This will be our first time to spend Christmas outside home, so we want something special. Anyone has such info about St, Sophia Church, please advise.

Name:Re: Activity in St. Sophia Church

St. Sophia Church has become the symbol of Harbin, however, it has lost its original function as a church. St. Sophia Church has been converted into Harbin Architecture Art Museum since 1997. It is open to the public for visiting but no mass or activity will be held inside any more. There are many other churches in Harbin where you can spend your Christmas there.