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Santa Sophia Church

santa-sophia-church Santa Sophia Church, built by Russians in 1907, is one of many Orthodox churches in Harbin. It has had its exterior restored and the interior, though also restored, has been left in its original state as much as possible. The result is said to be both subtle and beautiful.

santa-sophia-church01The city government of Harbin declared Santa Sophia Church a protected building in 1986. The church now houses the Harbin Architecture Arts Centre, which displays a photographic history of the city.

Santa Sophia Church is the largest Orthodox Church in the Far East. It is 53.55 meters high and covers a total area of 721 square meters. The church can contain over 2000 people. Santa Sophia Church is a typical building in Byzantine style. The mixture of Chinese and Russian culture is what makes the city so special and this is truly reflected in this structure. The main structure of the church is laid out as a Latin cross with the main hall topped with a huge green tipped roof. Under the bright sun, the church, together with the square around it, reminds the Chinese of the Red Square in Moscow. There are seven timepieces on the top of main entrance. The largest one weighs more than one ton. The timepieces sound seven notes. The arch wall shows famous murals painted by Russian artists.