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Nan Tang Catholic Church, Beijing

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Contact: +86 10 6603 7139
This stunning architectural find, rising like a colorful fairy-tale castle from the maze of dust-gray alleyways around Xi Dan, was founded by the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci in the early 17th century. Ricci came to China in 1582 and made his way to Beijing with the intention of converting China as a culture rather than merely as a religious practice. However, his incorporation of Chinese ceremonies into Catholic rites was later condemned by the pope. Nan Tang (Southern Cathedral) was burned down and was rebuilt in 1904.