St. Sophia Orthodox Church is one of the most magnificent structures in Harbin. It was built after the completion of the Sino-Russia railway in 1903 which connected Vladivostok to northeast China. The Russian No.4 Army Division arrived in this region just after Russia's embarrassing loss to the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Thus, St. Sophia’s Church was built and completed in 1907 as a spiritual symbol to help the army regain confidence. It was expanded and renovated in 1923 into the present day St. Sophia’s Church.
This church stands at 53 meters tall and is the perfect example of Byzantine architecture. The main structure is laid out like a cross with the main hall topped with a huge green tipped roof. Under the bright sun, the church and the square area it lies on looks quite like the Red Square in Moscow.
Despite there being several hundred Catholics in Harbin, most of their religious gatherings take place in smaller churches. The St. Sofia Church is currently used as the Municipal Architecture and Art Museum showing architectural developments of Harbin through the ages.
|The Time to Visit: ||January 5th to the end of February |
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