Shanghai St. Ignatius Cathedral Square Reopened to Public

A rendering of the new square of Shanghai St. Ignatius Cathedral
A rendering of the new square of Shanghai St. Ignatius Cathedral
By Li ShiguangAugust 16th, 2021

In late July and early August, Shanghai St. Ignatius Cathedral Square was reopened to the public after three years of closed construction, maintenance and renovation.

Earlier this month, some local media and citizen-based media in Shanghai announced the news. 

In August 2018, the garden square in front of St. Ignatius Cathedral was also rebuilt as part of the maintenance and reconstruction work.

St. Ignatius Cathedral was officially started in July 1906 and completed in September 1910. It was the first Catholic church in Shanghai, once known as "the first Cathedral in the Far East". The church was modelled after French medieval Gothic architecture, with red brick walls, white stone columns, and a bluish-grey slate roof. On the side of the church is the Catholic bishop's office of the Shanghai diocese, a nunnery, and other ancillary buildings.

Previously, because it had been a long time since the construction of the church building, the foundation of the building had seriously caved in. Most of the visitors who came here could only see the front of the church. When looking at the church from the west of Caoxi North Road, the view of the church was blocked, and the overall landscape of the church and surrounding buildings was not satisfactory. For this reason, the renovation project of the church square optimized the overall layout of the square: plane trees were planted on both sides of the central lawn to create a visual corridor, emphasizing the architectural beauty and solemnity of the church. To conform with the atmosphere of the church, the square has undergone many adjustments, from the macro layout to the details of the plants, from the lines to the elements, to complement the church.

According to a nun from the Xujiahui Catholic district who is familiar with the church, the church square had been undergoing repairs and renovations in the past few years, during which the entire square was fenced off. Now that the church square has finally been renovated and officially opened, she was delighted to see the refreshing church square again.

- Translated by Nonye Nancy 

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