The Most Beautiful Places of Worship in Tianjin

Tianjin Temple | © Gill Penney/Flickr
<a href="”>Tianjin Temple | © Gill Penney/Flickr</a>
Jon Santangelo

Tianjin is the definition of a modern capitalistic metropolis, yet its religious prevalence cannot be ignored. Some of China’s most beautiful temples, churches and sanctuaries are right here in Tianjin, so come discover what they are!

Even if you’re not much on the practicing of worship side, you’ll appreciate the immaculate infusion of European architectural design into Chinese culture, and the active temples that predate colonialism going back 600 years or more. Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim and Taoist faiths are all represented and still practiced today in the following beautiful sites in Tianjin.

Dabei Buddhist Monastery (Dabeiyuan)

Hidden in the middle of Tianjin’s tall and mighty skyscrapers, this is not your typical tourist spot. If you don’t know Dabeiyuan’s exact location then you’ll have to search for it – the best clues are a few English signs, an obscure arch, and an ancient red building. Dabeiyuan was ravaged during the Cultural Revolution, but has since been restored. It dates back to the ancient Ming and Qing dynasty eras. Enjoy roaming this temple that is truly a maze made up various halls, but try to avoid getting lost! Tip: when you’re unsure what hall you’re in or what’s displayed, refer to the second page of your ticket that shows the map of the temple. Whether you are Buddhist or just an appreciator of Chinese history, this tucked-away authentic monastery is worth the hunt. And the entrance fee is only 5 RMB.

1. The Tianjin Great Mosque


Differing from the religions of the East and West that shaped Tianjin is the faith that originated in the Middle-East: Islam. An Arabian-style imposing palace that stands alive to Muslims in the area, the temple is exotic in the sense that Catholicism, Buddhism, and Taoism are the most recognizable religious sites in Tianjin. Conveniently located by the Aqua City Supermarket and in close proximity to the Xizhan subway station, the Great Mosque is about 5 kilometers (>3 miles) from downtown in the northwestern Hongqiao district. Also, as a religion that was not born from The East, it is an enlightening experience to see how this temple and faith is preserved, interpreted and honored today in China. As you may have noticed, Tianjin has its own Uyghur (Muslim Chinese) community.

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