Communist Cathederals, Western and Soviet, Plus a Lake

It turns out that the Church I saw off Wangfujing is actually the East Church, or Saint Joseph’s Church. It’s one of the four main CPCA pseudo-Catholic churches around Beijing. Saint Joseph’s was built in 1655.

Today we went to another, the Western Church. The Western Church is the youngest of the four “directional” churches, built in 1723 and repaired in 1912. It’s appearance is sadly abused. We also saw another abused Cathedral of sorts — the very Soviet Beijing Exhibition Center, celebrating a political philosophy (International Communism) more forgotten than Christianity could ever be.


The “front” of the church is only available by walking into a drug store’s gated parking lot. A kind guard — and so far, all Chinese guards have been kind, allowed us to walk the parking lot for a few minutes to get a shot.

 


A side view of the building. Miscellany obscured the view.


The most dramatic shot of the false place of worship I was able to get


Some how, this seemed to be the saddest location


A brick wall separated the church from the parking lot. This is as good as I was able to get of a true side view of the church.


The building, in context


Thanking the guard, we circled the block to get a look at its “back” (the only portion visible from the street). This is the other other shot of the front we could get, sneaking in between buildings


The schedule of mass on the part visible from the street — the “back.” The Chinese Characters read Christ-Mother-month. An image of the Madonna is also displayed


The hind of the building, from the sidewalk. This picture is shot through the gates. “Pax” — Latin for “Peace” — is written on the wall. Because Vatican II happened after the schism, the CPCA conducts a traditional Tridentine mass.


Pictureboards and the building.


The license-plate like thing is the twisted metal zip code of the building In gold on the gate is the address, with the road’s name (West-Street-Gate, or Xizhimen) clearly displayed.


The very, very Soviet Beijing Exhibition center from behind the gates. Yet again, a kind guard would let us in to photograph. The building is now a convention center, and the red banner welcomes the China International Exhibition on Police Equipment as guests. The communist wreath encircles a dove, with PEACE (in English) written below.


Turn about 135 degrees to the left of the previous shot, and see this: a shopping mall. So this page has brought you three Cathedrals: one to the CPCA, one to the Communist Internationale movement, and one to Mammon. Guess which one is doing the best? Ayn Rand would be pleased.


A Soviet star and hammers-and-sickles adorn the building. It’s hard to get across in pictures, but the architectural style was also reminiscent of an Orthodox Cathedral.


There’s No Truer Way to Support Communisn than Staying at the Luxorious Exhibition Centre [British spelling] Hotel in Beijing, China.


Instead of Saints, four workers stand on pillars, welcoming conventioneers.


Approaching the main door. Because of the ongoing convention we were unable to go in, but at least we got this far.


A side view of the Convention center. On the other side of this shot is a Zoo. I like the look of this picture a lot — perhaps this will be a future tdaxp banner?


On the backside of the Convention Center, a speed boat, a police SUV, and those two ever-present symbols of Beijing: a bus and construction cranes.


The Imperial Boat Port. Read: fishing spot and pleasure boat tour center.


A sight-seeing boat with a cool bridge in the background, opposite the Centre


Fishermen try their luck in the polluted pond. We even saw two men swim. *shudder*


Stairs to the bottom of the lake welcome those who walk on the lake. I remember similar stairs in Italy, where my hosts said cloths were prepared that would be sent to China. Perhaps this is the opposite leg of the trip?

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