This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Pattern
During my recent Yunnan trip, one of the most impressive architectural structures was the Catholic Church in Dali, Yunnan. I found it especially interesting because in China, you will find Buddhist temples almost everywhere. But it was the first time that I saw a Catholic Church on Chinese soil, with such a beautiful architectural representation of the East and West patterns. Below, I posted a few pictures of the Catholic Church. If you click on any picture, it will open into a carousel and see each picture in big screen. I want you to take a very close look at these pictures. Did you see the traditional Chinese auspicious animals? They are all ornate patterns. The wooden structure belongs to the Bai minority style, which is unique.
The following description is extracted from the Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration website:
“Dali Catholic Church is located in Xinmin Road of Dali Ancient Town. Including 9 chapels, it was originally built in 1927 by a French bishop Ye Meizhang, and covers 470 square meters, about 36 meters long and 13 meters wide. The complex is a typical post and lintel construction in the style of double eaves with hip and gable walls; its lower and upper eaves both employ corbel arches and flying eaves, and every arch has four buttresses engraved with Chinese traditional auspicious animals and birds such as Dragon and Phoenix etc.
In the east of the church, an altar has been built for Virgin Mary; while in the west, it’s a gate tower modeled after Bai minority traditional residence whose top is a vestry roofed with eaves at four corners. The gate tower also employs multi-layer corbel arches and flying eaves, all of which are of superb workmanship. As a whole, the church complex adopts wooden structures of Bai minority style and thus is deemed as a combination of Chinese and Western architectures. In 1983, it was fortunately listed among the key protected relic items by Dali Prefecture Government.”
Other references you may like to look into: Dali Catholic Church – On the Road, another Blog on WordPress. It posted quite a few pictures including a picture of the church inside.
I didn’t see a lot of discussion about the architecture of this building, but would appreciate if some of you would give me and other readers some of your impressions about the architecture of this building. If you are an architect or architecture student, you are more than welcome to join our conversation here!