Since catholicism was officially introduced into Shanxi in 1620, there are more than 60 church buildings well preserved. Baroque style is one of the popular forms used in catholic churches in Shanxi province. However, because of lack of professional architects, most of churches were built following by photos or description by western missionaries thus the buildings are hybridized baroque style with vernacular details. As a result, the baroque churches which are supposed to be western style embody the local wishes and aesthetic tastes.

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Xiaozhai Rosary Church in Jincheng county. dominated by a pair of huge volutes waved by a group of unrestrained curves, which looks like a blooming rose on the top of the building to express the best wishes.

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Houling Catholic Church of Zhongyang County takes advantage of the triangle structure of local traditional gabled roof in forming a smooth and fluent curve with two large volutes as its ends. The edge enhancement with 5-layered decorated bricks are traditional decoration technique.

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Dongligao Epiphany Church in Tunliu County is a general triangle consisting of 3 sections of curves, which endows the whole building a tender and natural feeling together with various curves on the façade. Despite the design of the windows with elements of western style, the placement of the four vivid plum blossoms and the three Chinese characters “Catholic Church” releases much brightness of the traditional characteristics of the local villagers out of the foreign architectural frame of the whole building.

In the inland of China like Shanxi province, there are a lot of baroque churches  which creatively combined local techniques and aesthetic taste with the western style and then became unique architecture which provides us the information about what the indigenous culture and tradition.

The Photos taken by the blog’s author.

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