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Saint Sophia Cathedral in Harbin Recognized as China's 20th Century Architectural Heritage

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Harbin Recognized as China's 20th Century Architectural Heritage

Saint Sophia Cathedral Saint Sophia Cathedral(Video screenshot )
ByElsie Hu October 11, 2016
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As a landmark in Harbin, the 53.35 meter-high Saint Sophia Cathedral has been included in the first edition of the 20th-Century Chinese Architectural Heritage List along with other 97 sites.

Heilongjiang Daily reports that the list was issued by the China Cultural Relic Association and the Architectural Society of China on September 29, where the Great Hall of the People, Shanghai Park Hotel and Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge are also included.

Experts say that the reason for the release of the list is that these buildings have witnessed Chinese history in the 20th century, showing the historical outline of the century-old development of Chinese society and architecture. 

The Russian-style cathedral was made from timber in March 1907 as part of a plan to reconsolidate the confidence of the Russian No.4 Army Division by building an imposing spiritual symbol.

According to Wikipedia, it stands at 53.3 meters (175 ft) tall, occupies an area of 721 square meters (0.18 acres), and is the perfect example of Neo-Byzantine architecture. The 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 stands on looks quite like Red Square in Moscow.

In 1996, it was listed into the national important cultural relics protection unit and a year later, the municipal government repaired and renovated the cathedral and surrounding environment to grant it landmark status. 

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