Wanghailou Church, or Shengmu desheng tang (Notre Dame des Victoires), is a tall cathedral, located on the northern bank of the river, in the northwest of the city. What makes it so special is that it was the first cathedral to be built (in 1869) after Catholicism was spread to Tianjin.
The construction was ruined and rebuilt repeatedly by both man (1870 Massacre and 1900 Boxer Rebellion) and nature. The last serious destruction took place in 1976 during the Tangshan earthquake and it was reconstructed in 1983.
In contrast to the Catholic church farther south, this simple looking complex is open to the public only on Sunday, when a morning service is held. The church has been under state protection as a major national relic since 1988.
Location: Jingzhonghe Street between Shizilin Bridge and Jingangqiao Bridge.
Bus Route: 675, 609, 856, 14.
(China.org.cn July 25, 2007)