China: Guangzhou – Sacred Heart Cathedral & Huaisheng Mosque
Continuing with the religious theme (see previous post about the Buddhist Dafo Temple), there are are two other places of worship not far from each other in the older part of Guangzhou – the Catholic Sacred Heart Cathedral and the Muslim Huaisheng Mosque. The gothic cathedral was built by the French in 1863 at the height of Opium Wars, and is entirely made from granite (one of the few all-granite cathedrals in the world). When constructed, the twin-spired cathedral caused massive resentment and animosity from the local Cantonese, since it not only requires demolition of many houses but also destroyed the feng shui of the town that had no buildings taller then two stories. Just about 6-7 blocks up from the cathedral is the much older Huaisheng Mosque aka Grand Mosque of Canton,it was supposedly built in 627 AD during the first Muslim trade mission into China. The Mosque is very simple and minimalist with a distinctive white minaret and ancient walls surrounding the prayer hall.