covid-19 latest news, useful prevention advice

[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >

The First Impression of Saint Sophia Cathedral

Saint Sophia Cathedral or St Sophia Cathedral, located in the Sophia Square of Harbin, is the largest Eastern Orthodox church in the far east with more than 112 year’s history. It is also the most finely protected Byzantine architecture in China. Although it is no longer served as a church but Harbin Architecture Art Gallery, it still attracts many visitors with its beautiful exotic architecture.

While the main dome and bell tower are the traditional "green onion head" tent roofs of Russia, and the walls are all made of red bricks, Saint Sophia Cathedral is a highly unusual looking building to non-Russians. The 53.3-metre-high cathedral covers an area of 721 square meters and is the perfect example of Neo-Byzantine architecture. Under the bright sun, the church and the square look like Moscow’s Red Square. The view of St. Sophia Cathedral during the day and at night are two different kinds of beauty. As night falls and lights begin to shine, St. Sophia's Church appears to be covered with a mysterious veil, presenting a fantastic picture.

Recommended Tour
>>3 Days Classic Harbin Winter Tour

Saint Sophia Cathedral Saint Sophia Cathedral

 

Saint Sophia Cathedral History

Saint Sophia Cathedral was firstly built in 1907 after the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1903, which connected Vladivostok to northeast China. The Russian 4th Infantry Division arrived in this region just after Russia's loss to the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War (1904~1905). St. Sophia Cathedral was then built and completed of timber in March, 1907 as part of a plan to improve the morale of the army by building an imposing spiritual symbol.

Then, the Russian rebuilt it using masonry and timber four years later. The onset of a second reconstruction by Russian was marked on September 27th, 1923, and a ceremony was held to celebrate laying the corner stone. It was completed on November 25th, 1932, after nine years, and was hailed as a monumental work of art.

In November, 1996, it was listed as one of the Key Cultural Relics under State Protection. In the next year, it was repaired and renamed as Harbin Architecture Art Gallery by the Harbin City government. Locals and tourists still prefer to call it "Sophia Cathedral". It is a respectable landmark for Harbiners and for tourism.

In 2016, Harbin’s Orthodox Cathedral of St Sophia has been included in the first edition of the 20th century Chinese architectural heritage list along with 97 other sites. Experts say that the reason for this list is that these monuments witnessed Chinese history in the 20th century, representing the historical context of China’s social development and architecture in the last century.

Recommended Tour
>>3 Days Harbin Ice Festival Tour

Saint Sophia Cathedral Night View of Saint Sophia Cathedral
Saint Sophia Cathedral Inside View of Saint Sophia Cathedral

 

How to Visit Saint Sophia Cathedral in Harbin

As the perfect example of Neo-Byzantine architecture, the exterior of Saint Sophia Cathedral is so magnificent that attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. The main structure is laid out like a cross with the main hall topped with a huge green tipped dome. The walls are all made of red bricks laden with history. Night and day give the building totally different views, and you could choose to visit the church at dusk. Then you could enjoy different beauty of it at once.

The white doves living in the Sophia Square, and large musical fountains in front of the cathedral are the best places to take wedding pictures. Many locals or people from other places would like to do this here.

This cathedral houses Harbin Architecture Art Gallery, and inside of which you could see exhibitions of many photographs from old time. These old pictures tell you the history of Harbin. Meanwhile, there are also pictures of the present and the future of Harbin, by which you could know more about Harbin.

There is also a world-famous mural on the main dome of the church - "Last Supper". Although the mural is a little mottled due to the passage of time, the characters in the mural are delicately and vividly portrayed with panic, anger, suspicion, whitening, gestures, eyes and actions.

Recommended Tour
>>3 Days Classic Harbin Winter Tour

Saint Sophia Cathedral Saint Sophia Cathedral
Saint Sophia Cathedral Inside View of Saint Sophia Cathedral

 

Saint Sophia Cathedral Tickets & Opening Hours

The entrance ticket for Saint Sophia Cathedral is ¥15/person, and it's free if you don't enter the church. It usually opens from 8:30 to 17:00 every day. However, if you just want to take photos from the outside, then you can go to visit it at any time.

Pay Attention:
Saint Sophia Cathedral is being repaired now, and you are not allowed to enter it. By the way, the church is circled by fence, and you can’t have the full view of it. It is said that it will reopen in the September of 2019, but the accurate time is not sure. You can contact our Private Consultant for the accurate time.

Recommended Tour
>>3 Days Classic Harbin Winter Tour

Saint Sophia Cathedral Saint Sophia Cathedral

 

How to Get to Saint Sophia Cathedral in Harbin

Saint Sophia Cathedral is located at the Toulong Street of Daoli District in Harbin. It is near the Zhaolin Street Bus Station, so you could easily take the Bus No.1/No.13/No.42/No.61/No.85/No.113/No.130/No.131/No.133 first, and then walk for about 400 meters to arrive at the church.

  • 42 km away from Harbin Taiping International Airport, 60 min's driving
  • 10 km away from Harbin Xiangfang Railway Station, 30 min's driving
  • 10 km away from Harbin West Railway Station, 30 min's driving
  • 3 km away from Harbin Railway Station, 15 min's driving
  • 10 km away from Harbin East Railway Station, 30 min's driving
  • 25 km away from Harbin North Railway Station, 50 min's driving
  • 12 km away from Sun Island, 50 min's driving
  • 10 km away from Harbin Polarland, 30 min's driving
  • 1 km away from Central Street, 6 min's driving
  • 3 km away from Stalin Park, 15 min's driving
  • 10 km away from Harbin Ice and Snow World, 25 min's driving
  • 1 km away from Zhaolin Park, 5 min's driving
  • 15 km away from Siberian Tiger Park, 40 min's driving
  • 4 km away from Heilongjiang Provincial Museum, 15 min's driving

Other Useful Links
>>How to Get to China Snow Town from Harbin
>>How to Get to Yabuli Ski Resort from Harbin

Harbin Saint Sophia Cathedral Location Map Harbin Saint Sophia Cathedral Location Map
Click to Enlarge
Saint Sophia Cathedral Saint Sophia Cathedral

 

How to Plan a Harbin Tour with Saint Sophia Cathedral

Reputed as "Ice City", Harbin is well-known for its ice and snow, especially the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. So, how to plan a Harbin tour? Most travellers choose to visit Harbin during this festival, so they can catch many highlights of Harbin. Most of them may stay 3 days to explore the city's beauty. They may go to visit the world’s largest ice and snow theme park - Harbin Ice and Snow World, appreciate the Ice Lantern Garden Party in Zhaolin Park, wander along the Central Street to find old European-style buildings, take photo of the magnificent Saint Sophia Cathedral and so on.

Recommended Tours
>>3 Days Classic Harbin Winter Tour
>>3 Days Harbin Ice Festival Tour

Some travellesrs may stay 2 days more to get to the hot destinations around Harbin city, the most popular 2 choices among which are China Snow Town and Yabuli Ski Resort. The former one is the No.1 snow town in China, where you could see snow up to 2 meters. The later one is the largest ski resort in China, where you could ski with the most professional equipment.

Recommended Tours
>>5 Days Harbin Winter Tour with Yabuli Ski Resort
>>5 Days Charming Harbin & China Snow Town Winter Tour

Furthermore, you could also combine your Harbin tour with any other hot travel destinations in China, such as Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guilin, etc.

Recommended Tours
>>6 Days Beijing & Harbin Stunning Winter Tour by Flight
>>8 Days Northeast China Tour with Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Central Street (Zhongyang Street) Central Street (Zhongyang Street)
Dream Home at China Snow Town Dream Home

 

Travel Harbin and Other Places in China With China Discovery

Want to travel in and around Harbin and don't know how to arrange your day by day itinerary? Then travel with us, and all of your problems will be solved. In every city, our professional local guide and driver will escort you from your hotel, train station, airport to all attractions with comfortable private car with speed and convenience and let you catch the highlights of every site and city, so you can get really relaxed on the way and focus on what you are interested. The tour can be tailor made according to your plan, time and interests and demands. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us and tell us your needs, and we will customize a memorable tour for you!

Recommended Harbin Tours

Top 3 Harbin tours chosen by most customers to explore Harbin in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Beautiful Ice Sculptures at Ice and Snow World
3 Days Classic Harbin Winter Tour

Harbin

China Snow Town
5 Days Charming Harbin & China Snow Town Winter Tour

Harbin / China Snow Town / Harbin

Yabuli Ski Resort
5 Days Harbin Winter Tour with Yabuli Ski Resort

Harbin / Yabuli Ski Resort / Harbin

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Customize a Trip

Have a question? Get answers from our travel experts or guests

  • Your Question:
  • Your Name:
  • Your Email:
  • Submit

[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >