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“Outside better than inside”

Saint Sophia Cathedral
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Private Day Tour: Harbin City and Ice and Snow World
Ranked #5 of 207 things to do in Harbin
Attraction details
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Level Contributor
45 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Outside better than inside”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

The condition of this church is much better on the outside than the inside. The cost of admission is 20 RMB, which is a little more than $3. The church is now a museum displaying pictures of the old Harbin and how it was influenced by the Russians. The major explanations in the museum are in English, but the captions of each photograph is only in Chinese. The inside of the church has not been restored at all. The paint is faded or worn off and pieces of the walls and arches have broken off. There is a small gift shop inside, right at the entrance of the church. I wouldn't recommend going into the church unless you're interested in seeing what Harbin used to look like.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Shannan Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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447 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
94 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Sad church”
Reviewed February 14, 2013

As with many churches in China, this is no longer a church. It is in a bad state of repair and now houses a photographic exhibit showing pictures of old Harbin. Unfortunately the captions are only in Chinese. There were 2 interactive screens which claimed to have English but neither seemed to work when I tried. It is only 20rmb to enter (cheap compared to most other things in Harbin!!), so it is worth a look but is mostly sad and frustrating to see the state it is currently in but not be able to read more about the history of the city and find out more about why it has come to be that way.

Visited February 2013
Thank Alexvonw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
72 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Amazing Architectural Relic”
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Thank goodness this survived the Cultural Revolution, though the mindless damage to the interior from that period is painful to see. With the exception of the chandeliers (which I assume are authentic), none of the interior fixtures (altar, artwork, pews, etc) are there. However one gets the sense of how magnificent it must have been. The exterior appears to have been carefully restored and is just a stunning specimen of Russian Orthodox architecture.

Visited January 2013
Thank Astilbe_Arendsii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
57 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Russian Church”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Well worth going inside. Our tour guide told us the only reason the church survived, was they used it to store weapons, during the revolution.

Visited January 2013
Thank Marion P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
196 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Beautiful at night”
Reviewed January 21, 2013

We had read the other reviews about the inside being not really worth the visit but my husband wanted to go anyway, so we paid the 20 yuan each and in we went. It is very sad to see that the inside of the church has not be maintained to it's original glory. The photos that show the history of Harbin (I think) were ok but if you can not read Chinese then most of the time you will not know what you are looking at. I really got nothing out of going inside but disappointment.
The Church looks beautiful at night so it you have your tripod and feel like going back well worth a photo.

Visited January 2013
Thank kev_deb2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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