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St. Sophia Church

St. Sophia Church at the daytime with peopleSt. Sophia Church is situated in the corner of Toulin Street (Toulin jie) and Zhaolin Street (Zhaolin jie). It stands at 53.3 meters (175 feet) tall, occupies an area of 721 square meters (0.18 acres), and is the perfect example of Neo-Byzantine architecture. Its main structure is laid out like a cross with the main hall topped with a huge green tipped dome. Under the bright sun, the church and the square area it lies on looks quite like the Red Square in Moscow.

St. Sophia Church was badly damaged during the cultural revolution but later restored to its original 1907 splendor. Inside there is a little photographic exhibition tracing some of Harbin's history.

St. Sophia Church looks quite beautiful. It is said to look as if it had been made by God's hands. Actually, St. Sophia means 'God's wisdom'. With a Latin cross footprint, the church's original shape was preserved during reconstruction. The church has four floors and is accessible by a door on each side. Until the 1960's, the bell tower over the entrance housed 7 bells of different sizes and tones. When there were religious festivals in the past, a well-trained ringer would play musical progressions, tolling the bells with ropes tied to his hands and feet. The bells resounded to the skies.

St. Sophia had went through considerable decline till 1990's. St. Sophia Church is no more in use. Magnificent Russian painted murals ever adorned the church's St. Sophia Church at night with lightsarched walls were completely destroyed. In 1997, the Harbin government reconstructed it, 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. Now, the murals, pendent lamps, dome and the bell tower are restored to their original splendor.

 

St. Sophia Church Tour

St. Sophia Church, a lovely Orthodox church that is Harbin's most famous landmark. For the photographer, photography is permitted by purchasing a special ticket to hang on your camera.

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