Monday, April 11, 2011

St. Nicholas Churches Around the World - Harbin, China

In Memory of St. Nicholas Cathedral of Harbin
Harbin, China
1900-1966
Image Courtesy: Orthodox
Photo for this Postcard taken in 1930
It might seem strange to see that such a beautiful St. Nicholas church was in China. But really, it's not (there is actually one currently there which I will write about in the future!). As found all over the world people here have a great respect for St. Nicholas too. (Please see this article found at Mystagogy). After the revolution in the early part of the 20th c in China's neighbor, Russia (in which the Tsar and his family were martyred), many Russians moved to Harbin. There, they found this lovely church dedicated to the beloved of all, St. Nicholas.
St. Nicholas Cathedral
Image Courtesy: Orthodox
And here it looks like a part of a fairy-tale....
But one thing often forgotten, fairy-tales seldom have happy endings...
Image courtesy: ROCOR
On August 23, 1966 this beautiful cathedral, built of wood, was destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. 
Fr. Anikita Wang
Image courtesy: Orthodox
The last Priest of the St. Nicholas Cathedral of Harbin
He was Martyred (see here) in 1967
One last photo of this beautiful structure...
Image courtesy: Orthodox
From the Russian Club in Shanghai
It's just good to remember such architectural structures of such obvious love and devotion that were built to God's glory...even if they have been, like the St. Nicholas Church at the World Trade Center in NYC, destroyed.

30 comments:

Pat said...

Such a shame that a beautiful Cathedral was burned down. Also that many people were tortured and killed at that time. We are fortunate not to live under such a yoke.

Erna said...

Goodmorning Ann, what a shame that such a beautiful church has been destroyed, it was a lovely building

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Ann, your knowledge AND love for this saint's legacy is astounding my friend! You are able to locate the best and most interesting histories on this one saint ALONE! Oh how I wish you could meet Ruben. He is not an expert in churches, but is a church historian and you would have such a fine time speaking with him. THANK YOU DEAR FOR VISITING CASTLES! Yes, my birthday has always been special in that it is close to one of the most GLORIOUS CHRISTIAN CELEBRATIONS!!!!! YIPEEEEEEE!!!! Have a lovely day dearest....Anita

Crystal Mary said...

Yes what a shame Ann, isn't it amazing the different architecture for different countries. All over the world, St Nicholas is remembered. Love Crystal xx

Thisisme. said...

I agree - it's terrible that that wonderful Church is no longer there. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could go all round the world and visit all these Churches that you write about! Hope all is well with youl.

Madi and Mom said...

Finding a St. Nicholas in China was a surprise!! What a jewel.

YAY Edward... you cannot keep a fantastic kitty down for long especially when he is surrounded by so much TLC.
Hugs Madi

BEAR's Mom said...

that was a beautiful church...
i especially liked the view when it was snowy...you're right it does have that 'fairy tale' look! so sad to know that it's no longer there...
how is Edward?
BEAR HUGS
~victoria~

Lois Evensen said...

So beautiful to have had such a sad ending. :(

I so enjoy your research, information, and images.

Hugs,
Lois

Out on the prairie said...

Terrible to destroy. The Russians let a number go when they had a grip on Czech. That is where I saw my first St. Nicholas Church in Prague.

Louise said...

What a pity to destroy such a beautiful church.

I was just wondering how Edward is doing?

Bethany said...

Every year Harbin has an ice and snow festival--it is absolutely surreal and beautiful. I've only seen in photos--I can't imagine what it must be like in person. You should google it sometime.
xo,
Bethany

PEA said...

Oh, Ann, such a tragic loss this church was, it was so beautiful and like you say, just like something you would find in a fairytale. Between wars, revolutions, etc, so many of the world's beloved buildings have been destroyed and it just breaks my heart. I'll now go read the story of the last priest there that was Martyred.

Have a wonderful day my dear friend. xoxo

Sara Bentley said...

This gave me goosebumps... but how lovely to remember both the church and it's people here :) It was really beautiful...

Claus said...

I was saw a documentary about Christianity around the globe. It described and talked about Christianity in China, which actually caught me by surprised. Very interesting!

I sent you info. about the St. Nicholas Church of Quetzaltenango in Guatemala to your email. Did you get it? I sent it to the email you share here in your blog.

JackDaddy said...

The pictures are a sad reminder..

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

The church was beautiful, what a sad ending. Diane

Krystal said...

ooo i love those old snowy pics :)

K9 Katastrophie said...

It was a beauty!

Elaine said...

That was a beautiful church, but such a sad history. It is so interesting to see the great variety of architecture in the many St. Nicholas churches around the world,and what a huge influence St. Nicholas had in the lives of so many people.

Remington said...

Beautiful church....so sad it is gone....

troutbirder said...

Fanaticism, whatever the kind, destroys the good and the beautiful. Interesting history though, Ann....

Stacey said...

Undeniable beauty for sure, but what a tragic tale. I would never thought that there would be a St. Nicholas Church in China(not sure why i would think that). It's amazing how the influence of St. Nicholas has spread far and wide. I'm thrilled about that. Lots of hugs to you and dearest Edward:-)

BeadedTail said...

Such a sad history for such a beautiful church!

Glad Edward is doing well!

Georgianna said...

Hi Ann! Oh, I've missed your magnificent scholarship and fascinating posts. What an awful shame that this church has been destroyed but the vintage photos are amazing.

I'm back from my trip to the South and catching up. Thank you for visiting and your kind comment. I'll be posting photos over the next few weeks.

All the best,

Georgianna

Lynne said...

Hi Ann, glad you stopped by. Some lovely images there, especially in the snow.

Dogwood said...

I always love looking at your blog.
Great photos.
Great history.
Interesting information.
Thanks...
Hi to Edward.
Smiles to you.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Such a fairytale church building, with a story containing the cruelty that is so often found in fairytales as well. My heart wrung for the poor martyred priest..

Snapper II said...

This is a great post and a sad story. I did not know the church near the World Trade center.

Michele said...

this is very moving. thanks for sharing about this. prayers for all those around the world who just wish to be able to practice their faith. xo

Mandie said...

I am surprised to see such a beautiful church in Chine. Not the beautiful part but the St. Nicholas part. I love the pictures of it in the snow :)