Saint Sophia Cathedral ​- largest orthodox Church in the Far East

Last Update: 9th October 2020
Originally built in 1907 by the 4th Infantry Division of Tsarist Russia, Saint Sophia Cathedral in Harbin features the Byzantine style. Situated on the Sophia Square, it stands out among the buildings there. Through the expansion construction from 1923 to 1932, Saint Sophia Cathedral becomes the largest Orthodox cathedral in the Far East at that time. Nowadays, it works as Harbin Architectural Art Museum.

Saint Sophia Cathedral ​Fast Facts

  • Chinese Name: Sheng Suofeiya Dajiaotang (圣索菲亚大教堂)
  • Area: 721 square meters
  • Things to do there: Photography, Architecture, History and Culture
  • Who visits: Photographers, Architects, History and Culture Lovers
  • Time required: 1 x hour

Interested in visiting Saint Sophia Cathedral on a Tour?

Wendy Wei Tours offers a variety of different packaged tours as well as custom tours including Saint Sophia Cathedral, among other attractions and destinations. To find out more, please visit our Tours page or Contact Us directly to find out more.

What to expect at Saint Sophia Cathedral
With a large onion-shaped dome, Saint Sophia Cathedral has a tower at the top of the main entrance. The golden crosses at the top of the dome and the bell tower are different from those of other churches. On the facade, you’ll find typical statues of soldiers during the Tsarist Russia.
During the Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976) in China, the main body of the cathedral, frescoes, crosses, and religious books were damaged severely. In 1997, the government of Harbin restored it based on the original appearance and transformed it into a museum. The original furnishings and layout inside the building have already been changed.
You can get acquainted with the history and the urban planning of the city through nearly 1,000 pictures and exhibits in the cathedral. You can also explore the bell tower through the narrow steps. Above the head is a large ceiling lamp under the dome. At night, Saint Sophia Cathedral in the light presents more stunning views.

Best time to visit Saint Sophia Cathedral

If you’d love to visit the cathedral for photography purposes, the best time to visit is at night.
The best months to visit are from May to October.

 

How to get to Saint Sophia Cathedral

Several buses pass by the cathedral. Thus, there are several options.

  • Rent a vehicle to the Sophia Square. Then, walk to the cathedral.
  • Take Bus 1 and Bus 5 to the Stop of Zhaolin Street (兆麟街). Then walk to the cathedral.
  • Take Bus 2, 8 and Bus 13 to the Stop of Architectural Art Square (建筑艺术广场站). Then walk to the cathedral.

Additional Saint Sophia Cathedral Travel Advice

  • Opening hours: 08:30 – 17:30
  • As at 9th October 2020, the entrance pricing to the cathedral is 15 CNY per person. For the latest pricing, please contact us via email (info@wendyweitours.com)
  • If you’re planning to visit it between December and March, please wear enough warm clothes.
  • Some tourists who have visited the cathedral suggest that if you are planning to visit it for photography purposes, you can just take photos on the square and it is unnecessary to enter it.

Interested in visiting Saint Sophia Cathedral on a Tour?

Wendy Wei Tours offers a variety of different packaged tours as well as custom tours including Saint Sophia Cathedral, among other attractions and destinations. To find out more, please visit our Tours page or Contact Us directly to find out more.