Irene, one of my roommates from Guangdong province always complained about Beijing’s coldness and said they never wore down coats in winter. I was persuaded and went to Guangzhou to escape the chilly wind. The first destination was Guangzhou. This is a city without winter or coldness. It’s surrounded by warm and soft sunlight. At night, lights given off from each window and light up all streets. The most significant scenic spot is Sacred Heart Cathedral of Guangzhou which has a history of more than 130 years.
Sacred Heart Cathedral was originally the residence of the Viceroy of Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces (liǎng guǎng zǒng dū) in the Qing Dynasty. After the Second Opium War, it was promised as a compensation for the French Government. With the support of Emperor Napoleon III and the Catholics of France, the first vicar apostolic of Guangdong, was in charge of the design and oversaw the construction process. He invited a French architect, Nancéen Léon Vautrin, to design the cathedral and the neo-Gothic design was approved in 1863. After 25-year construction, it was completed in 1888. The whole project costs more than 400,000 gold francs.
The cathedral is a Gothic architecture. It covers the area of 2,754 square meters, with 35 meters wide, 78.69 meters long from north to south, and the twin towers rise as high as 58.5 meters. The west tower is a clock tower while the east tower serves as a bell tower, inside which there are five gigantic bronze bells shipped in from France in the 19th century.
In the hall, the roof is arch doom. The adjacent of window on the front door and the walls surrounded are closed-palm shaped. All windows and doors are fit with the glass that are made in France, which are deep red, yellow, blue, green, and other colorful glass mosaic. These colorful glasses can avoid outdoor light into the room so that there is a solemn pomp in the cathedral.