Experiences - Asia

Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre

Most of the early architecture in Hong Kong has a British influence owing to their colonisation. These early buildings, having witnessed the evolution of Hong Kong, possess significant commemorative value. Some of these buildings are well preserved and over the course of time, they have become landmarks with rich historical value. Religious freedom in Hong Kong gave way to the erection of many religious buildings of different architectural character during the colonial times. There are a variety of architectural styles such as classical, revival, gothic, renaissance, and modernist, which come together to form the Hong Kong skyline as we see it today.

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Image Courtesy: Aidan Mak used under the Creative Commons Licence

The history of Asia tells us that the Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre was founded in 1930 by the Norwegian missionary Karl Ludvig Reichelt. He was sent to the Hunan province initially in 1904, where he picked up his interest in Buddhism and came up with the idea to share the gospel with Buddhists. He initially established Jing Fong Shan in Nanjing in 1929. However, due to the chaos of the Chinese civil war, he moved his work to Sha Tin, Hong Kong, where he commissioned Danish architect Johannes Prip-Moller to design the centre as we see it today.

The plan laid out for the centre was in the style of a Chinese Buddhist Temple. The architecture here incorporates the elements of both Eastern and Western principles to form a version of “Chinese renaissance”.

Visiting the the Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre can be quite an interesting experience for architecture enthusiasts. It is situated on a hill and all of its buildings, including the Chapel that has eight sides, are built to look like pagodas. They have white walls, blue beams and red columns showing simple interiors as opposed to the grand details on the outside of the buildings. The site for the centre was initially located outside the city of Hong Kong and now, although the city has gradually grown and engulfed the centre, the tranquility of the space remains undisturbed. The courtyard serves as a buffer and divides the centre from the rest of its surroundings. The Buddhist concept of self-introspection has heavily influenced the design of this glorious space.

The Tao Fong Christian Centre is one of many great places to visit in Hong Kong. Do not miss out on this wonderful experience.

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