Sacred Heart Cathedral

Sacred Heart Cathedral
Sacred Heart Cathedral

Sacred Heart Cathedral in Guangzhou, also known as the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, or Shishi Catholic Church, is regarded as the ‘Notre Dame of East Asian’. Located at Yide Road near the Haizhu Square in the city center, this 130-year-old Roman Catholic cathedral is a holy and peaceful site in the bustling urban area. The cathedral was designed by two French architects, and completed by Chinese craftsmen within 25 years from 1863 to 1888. With a gross area of 3,300 square yards (2,754 square meters), it is the biggest in Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Guangzhou and one of the grandest double steeples Gothic architectures in China. Featuring all of the walls and pillars made of granite, the Sacred Heart Cathedral is nicknamed the ‘Stone House’ (Shishi in Chinese) by the locals. It is the largest granite Catholic structure in Southeast Asia, and one of only four all-granite Gothic churches in the world.

The original site of Sacred Heart Cathedral was the residence of viceroy of Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). In 1856, it was destroyed during the war. At that time, Bishop Philippe (the first vicar apostolic of Guangdong) made full use of this opportunity to occupy this place. The purpose was to construct a Catholic cathedral. Finally, he was allowed to be in charge of the construction work. Philippe invited two French architects to design the cathedral and began construction on June 28, 1863.

Two initial foundation stones were laid by Philippe and all senior members of Missions étrangères de Paris. One in the east was engraved with ‘Jerusalem 1863’, while the other in the west with ‘Roma 1863’. The purpose of these two stones is to relate that Christianity originated in eastern Jerusalem and developed in western Rome. Visitors still can see the foundation stones nowadays.
 

Inside the Church
Interior of the Church

Featuring a plane in a cross shape, the cathedral is 259 feet (79 meters) from south to north, and 115 feet (35 meters) from west to east. With a height of 191 feet (58.5 meters), the building follows the classical Gothic architectural style. Standing on the square in the front of the church, one can see the imposing facade with symmetrical design and three vertical parts.

Three dark red doors with exquisite Gothic pointed arches are set on the ground floor, with the middle one being the largest. A huge rose window with a diameter of 23 feet (6 meters) above the middle entrance is the focus of the facade. The crystal colorful glasses of the window wear a golden gleam under the beautiful sunshine. Higher on the third floor, there are two eight-square pointed bell towers symmetrically on the east and west. Three sides of the west tower are inlaid with big clocks; while the east tower keeps the Virgin Mary Bell Group containing four heavy bronze bells brought from France.

Entering the cathedral, the spacious interior with a rib vault impresses all visitors. Two lines of pillars divide the hall into a central part and two side corridors. The main altar, pillars, and the walls are exquisitely decorated. There are many pointed arched windows with colored paintings, vividly depicting various Bible stories. When sunlight penetrates through the colored glasses, the church is immersed in a holy and mysterious atmosphere.

Admission Fee Free
Opening Time 8:00-17:30
Tip: All the visitors can participate in the Mass, but they are not allowed to walk around during the mass time.
Mass Time:
Weekdays: 06:45 (Cantonese)
Saturday: 16:00 (Korean) 19:30 (Mandarin)
Sunday:  6:30 (Cantonese) 8:30 (Cantonese)
10:30 (Mandarin) 15:30 (English)
Transportation 1. Take metro Line 2 or metro Line 6 to Haizhu Square, get out from Exit B2, and walk west along Yide Road to find the cathedral. 
    Or you can take metro Line 6 to Yide Road Station, and walk northeast around 430 yards.
2. Take public buses 4, 8, 61, 82, 86, or 823, and get off at Middle Yide Road.
Guangzhou Bus / Metro Search
Notice 1. Short skirts, knickers, and slippers are not allowed in the cathedral.
2. At the entrance, there are free long aprons for visitors.

 Top 10 Things to Do in Guangzhou
 
- Last modified on Nov. 08, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Sacred Heart Cathedral
Asked by Paulina from INDONESIA | Nov. 08, 2018 03:09Reply
The 2018 christmas eve chinese and english mass time
Does anyone know the 2018 christmas eve chinese and english mass time at Sacred Heart Cathedral ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nanette from USA | Nov. 08, 2018 19:43
00Reply


No latest news comes out about the mass time and in previous years, the mass time was at about 13:30.
Asked by Patricia Jew from UNITED STATES | Aug. 24, 2018 08:41Reply
Do you know if Sacred Heart Cathedral does renewal of marriage vows
Answers (1)
Answered by Ginny from DENMARK | Aug. 27, 2018 00:12
00Reply


Yes, it does.
Asked by Lea from FRANCE | Dec. 13, 2017 03:29Reply
Christmas Mass schedule in Sacred Heart Cathedral
Hello everyone, is someone know if there are an English mass on Sunday 24 after 8pm ? Thanks for your help
Answers (1)
Answered by Robin from FRANCE | Dec. 13, 2017 19:45
00Reply


Sorry, but as I know, no mass is after 8:00pm. The English mass is around 15:30.
Asked by Maria from PHILIPPINES | Dec. 12, 2017 19:21Reply
Do you know if there is a New Year's Eve Mass in English at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Guangzhou?
Or what time is the English Mass on 01 Jan
Answers (1)
Answered by Brace from UNITED KINGDOM | Dec. 12, 2017 21:06
00Reply


Yes, and it’s at 15:30.
Asked by Thomas from MALAYSIA | Dec. 05, 2017 08:42Reply
does anyone know the christmas eve chinese and english mass time at Sacred Heart Cathedral ?
24th dec 2017, thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by James from CANADA | Dec. 05, 2017 20:29
00Reply


As I was told, Chinese mass is at 7:00, 8:30 and 10:30; English one is at 15:30.
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