Travel Report: St Michael’s Cathedral, Qingdao.
August 2009. Architecturally speaking the Chinese city of Qingdao is quite unique thanks to its tumultuous history of German occupation in the late 1890s. I guess being invaded and colonised by the Germans wasn’t much fun. Nevertheless, the whole chapter did at least leave the city with cobbled streets, European style squares and a smattering of pretty churches. The best example of this is St. Michael’s Cathedral, AKA Qingdao Catholic Church. You can find it in the old town on a large square dominating on Zhejiang Road.
S and I were really disappointed to see that St. Michael’s was closed that day. But at least we could enjoy its yellow granite exterior from the vast expanse of the cobbled square. Moreover, we deem to have timed our Qingdao stay for wedding season!
At first we thought we’d luckily stumbled across a lone photo shoot. But before long we bumped into more couples, each one accompanied by a photographer. It was only later that we learned about wedding season and that such photography sessions don’t take place on the actual wedding day. Rather, these sessions take place weeks or even months prior to the big day.
With more and more husbands-and-wives-to-be arriving, it seemed St. Michael’s Cathedral is a key spot in your standard Qingdao wedding photo shoot. Later on that day, we saw even more couples down on the city’s numerous beaches.
St Michael’s Cathedral, Qingdao.
These guys were sharing a photographer with another couple. Waiting for their turn, they cheerfully chatted with us on the square steps. Their English was minimal, our Chinese was non-existent. But hey, we made it work. If you want to go inside the church, note that it’s usually open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. Entrance is free, while weekday mass begins at 06:00.
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