St. Ignatius Cathedral, Xujiahui

Being one of China’s famous and the biggest cathedrals in Shanghai, St. Ignatius Cathedral lies at the No. 158 Puxi Road, Xuhui District. It is the first Chinese cathedral built in Gothic style.


Being called the “Vatican of Shanghai”, St. Ignatius Cathedral faces east, covers 6,670 square meters (about 1.6 acre) and can hold about 3,000 people at one time. Its outside shape is like a Latin cross. The bell towers on two sides are 57 meters (187 feet) high. Wandering around outside, you can see buttresses on which grotesques are constructed as decorations as well as drainage system.

At the entrance, there is a name card with a sentence written in Latin “ORATE PRO W.M.DOWDALL F.R.I.B.A. A.M.I.C.E. HUJUS TEMPLI ARCHITECTA”, which means “praying on behalf of the constructor”.

Inside the St. Ignatius Cathedral, 64 stone round pillars with carved patterns come to people’s eyes first, all of which are carved by using stones from Mount Jin in Suzhou. There are more than 60 pointed-arch shape windows and six large rose-like windows in the church. Different themes of pictures are painted on the rose-like windows. Around the walls, 14 pictures of the suffering life of Jesus are presented. 19 altars are built inside and the main altar in the center was sculptured in Paris first and then transported to Shanghai in 1919. On the top of the main altar, a sculpture of St. Mary holding Jesus in her hands is standing there. On the left side of the main altar, there exists a hall in memory of the dead people.

The winding corridor inside the Xujiahui Saint Ignatius Cathedral is not only used as a decoration but also in a practical way. Dust and echoes can be absorbed by the corridor due to its special structure. Before the seats, there is a row of short benches for kneeling during prayers.


Its construction was related with Xu Guangqi (a very famous Chinese statesman and agriculturist from the Qing Dynasty 1644 - 1911), who was a Catholic at that time. It was he who started the history of Catholicism in the southern region in China. In the year 1904, St. Ignatius Cathedral started to be built and was opened to the public in 1910. Being grand and gorgeous, it was called “The largest Cathedral in the Far East” at that time. As a result of the church’s completion, Xujiahui District had become the center of missionary and other related activities. Many other educational, cultural, charitable facilities were established in this district.

Opening Hours

St. Ignatius Cathedral is open to the public for limited times only on Saturday and Sunday.
Opening hours: Sat: 13:00 ~ 16:00; Sun: 14:00 ~ 16:00
Volunteers will guide visitors in a tour every half an hour.

St. Ignatius Cathedral Shanghai Mass Time

There are different kinds of masses at different times for Catholics.

Mass on Ordinary Days Mon. ~ Sat.: 6:15; 19:00
Children's Mass Sat.: 16:30
Lord’s Day Mass Sat.: 18:00
Sun.: 6:00; 7:30; 10:00; 18:00, 12:00 (English Mass)
Mass on the First Friday of a Month 18:00

 The rules are required to follow when you make a visit there:
1. Keep silent and ensure your mobile phone powered off or silent. Making phone calls is not allowed inside.
2. Pay attention to personal attire. Slippers, tank tops and mini skirts are not allowed inside.
3. Take care not to damage any of the equipment and remain outside of any areas that are closed to the public.

Time for Catechumen:

Sat: 15:30 ~ 17:30
Sun: 8:30 ~ 10:30
 Everyone is free to attend, but people should sign up at the entrance of the church.

Classes for Catholic Dogmata:

For children: Weekends and summer and winter holidays
For adults: Only Weekends

How to Get to Shanghai St. Ignatius Cathedral

 By Subway:
Take Line 1, Line 9 or Line 11 and get off at Xujiahui Station. Then walk south about 400 meters to find the church.

 By Bus:
Take bus no.44, 93, 548, 830, 836, 931 or 958 to get to Hongqiao Road Gongcheng Road first. Then walk south around 300 meters.

 Further Reading: Christianity in China

- Last updated on Aug. 19, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on St. Ignatius Cathedral, Xujiahui
Asked by Shannon from CHINA | Mar. 03, 2023 21:21Reply
At what time is mass in English on the weekend?
Answers (2)
Answered by Kathy | Mar. 05, 2023 19:58

It's 6:15, 7:00, 16:30, 18:00 on Saturday and 6:00, 7:30, 10:00, 18:00 on Sunday.
Answered by Luis | Aug. 19, 2023 20:09

English mass here is on Sunday's at 12:00.
Asked by Anon from UK | Dec. 19, 2020 01:55Reply
Updated Mass Times of Shanghai St. Ignatius Cathedral, Xujiahui
Is English mass still at midday on Sundays?
Answers (2)
Answered by Ava | Dec. 20, 2020 18:07

Well, I remember that the mass time on Sundays are 07:00, 10:00 and 18:00.
Answered by Sonny | Apr. 17, 2021 04:31

No English mass now April 17 2021
Asked by Cynthia from PHILIPPINES | Nov. 30, 2019 07:37Reply
What time is the Sunday mass in English of St. Ignatius Cathedral, Xujiahui?
Answers (3)
Answered by Mona from USA | Dec. 01, 2019 19:41

Answered by Sonny | Apr. 17, 2021 04:33

Pls find below the current mass schedule (no English mass now) as of April 17 2021

158 puxi road xuhui Line 1 exit 8

Sunday : 6 / 730 / 10 / 12 / 1800

Monday - Friday : 615 / 7 am

Friday : 1900

Saturday : 615 / 7. Am
1630 children's mass
Answered by Rexel | May. 07, 2021 18:34

Hi When do we have english mass?
Asked by TPREADI | Nov. 27, 2019 21:25Reply
Christmas 2019 Mass Times
What are the mass times for Christmas 2019 and would this church be the closest to Pudong Shangri-La Hotel?
Answers (1)
Answered by Alex from AUSTRALIA | Dec. 01, 2019 23:19

1. Sorry, I didn't find the timetable.
2. Yes, it is.
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