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A Grand Tour of Beloved and Blessed Local Church Architecture

Christmas is a key cultural event in the West. Excitement grows as the year draws to a close in Taipei too, and churches around the city are busy prettying up their exteriors as they prepare for Masses and othercelebrations that bring a sense of peace, happiness, and benediction. As you travel over the next few pages, we'll be giving you a good sense of the warmth and joyous spirit that settles over the city during the festive season, and we'll take you on a grand tour of the best in local church architecture. We'll visit the Grace Baptist Church, Taipei Truth Lutheran Church, Holy Family Catholic Church,Zhongshan Presbyterian Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and other locations, all possessing great spiritual and physical beauty.

Deep Plowing of the Local Soil –Grace Baptist Church

1. Grace Baptist Church exhibits many classical Chinese architectural motifs, one of the most recognized landmarks in south Taipei.
2. The high-ceilinged assembly hall at Grace Baptist Church, with its raised altar and large wooden cross on the wall behind, has an air of solemn majesty.

Because of the presence of so many churches along its length, including Grace Baptist Church, Taipei Truth Lutheran Church, and Holy Family Catholic Church— plus the grand Taipei Grand Mosque—Xinsheng S. Rd. has been given the popular local moniker “The Road of Heaven.” The first Grace Baptist Church was erected in 1951, a little building set in the backyard of a private residence along Heping E. Rd. In 1955, the growing congregation moved their home of worship to the present location, rebuilding in 1984, and in 2003 engaging in renovations, the result today's imposing complex.

The exterior of Grace Baptist Church is an exhibition of traditional Chinese design concepts, exhibiting many a Christian religious motif adapted “with local characteristics.” An immense cross stands high up a majestically tall and soaring spire, symbolizing the deep roots planted in rich Taiwan soil. The roof is in the shade of yellow traditionally reserved for the Chinese emperor, symbolizing instead that Jesus Christ Our Lord reigns supreme. Green ruyi , an auspicious Chinese symbol that translates literally as “all in accordance with one's wishes”—are placed on either side of the roof, symbolizing that all here is “in accordance with” the “wishes” of God. The exterior of the church is of red brick in the same shade as the brick traditionally used in local residences, symbolizing the deep roots and local spiritual consciousness this church cultivates. The fan-shaped doorways , a traditional design motif, symbolize peace and gentleness, and blend melodically in contrast with the yellow roof. This model of architecture, Grace Baptist Church, has for obvious reason long been an iconic landmark in Taipei south district.

Holistic Spiritual Care in a Modern Space –Taipei Truth Lutheran Church

Located by Grace Baptist Church, Taipei Truth Lutheran Church was erected in 1952. Fronted by the heavy and often noisy flow of people and vehicles along busy Xinsheng S. Rd., in 2005, this oasis of calm and tranquility underwent a thoroughgoing renovation, re-emerging as a lofty 10-story structure in sleek modern styling. The bright exterior is characterized by smooth, flowing lines, emitting a warm, welcoming light that embraces all who approach.

3. Taipei Truth Lutheran Church has clean, trim lines on its modernistic exterior, exuding a heart open to all comers.
4. The arched, recessed ceiling at Taipei Truth Lutheran Church creates a heightened sense of roomy space and brightness.

This structure has been designed with the theme of service as a “building of holistic care.” It features modernistic architectural-design elements that give it a refined, contemplative inward-looking demeanor, replete with the sublime symbolism of a new generation of the church. There is clever use of a huge cross as a lighting source, and this, along with the curvilinear roof and group of seven curtain design embellishments, blend in harmony under the lighting emanating from the church's pinnacle, the place suffused with a soft and gentle glow. On the doors to the assembly hall of the church, transparent glass is used, and the transparent stairway, allowing for the visual interaction of those in the assembly hall and people walking along. And in order to make manifest the selflesslove of the Savior, great care has been taken in thedesign to create an open concept without restricting walls, with freedom of movement for those moving about and an expansive 40-ping (one ping equals 36sq. ft.) landscaped area of pleasing, comforting visuals. This public space of natural and intimate appeal fully displays the aesthetic grandeur of the site and embodies the “fellowship of love” emphasized by the church and the devotion to an inclusive holistic-care service followed here.

A Solemn and Sublime Catholic Shrine –Holy Family Catholic Church

Facing Daan Park, one of the holy grove of churches that has grown along “The Road of Heaven,” Holy Family Catholic Church first saw the light of day in Taipei in 1952, springing up on Andong St. The church moved to the present location in 1964. The complex is laid out in a simple rectangular pattern that forms the shape of the cross, evoking a strong aura of sacred holiness.

From a bird's-eye view you can clearly see the layout of the church, in the shape of a cross. At night the complex is bathed in warm and gentle white light, bringing a clean, pure air of sacred nobility. The design of the church is like that of a tent, giving the interior an unobstructed feel of soaring flight. The effect is inspiring at the same time as it calms the soul. You'll much admire the wonderful stained-glass murals depicting stories from the Bible, 18 in total and over a century old, done by a well-known French artist Leveque. The glass strategically allows sunlight to stream into the interior in colored rays, most definitely creating a resplendence that makes you think you are being bathed in holy light direct from a higher source. You'll be captivated by the lofty aesthetics at the same time your spirit is liberated.

Gothic Image of Ancient Belief – Zhongshan Presbyterian Church

Located on Linsen N. Rd., this structure was originally the Taisho Street Anglican Church during the Japanese Colonial Period (1895-1945), built in 1927. Famed for its classically elegant Gothic styling, on the main door arch column you'll find the following inscription—“Foundation stone March 1937.” The church is among the city's most historic pieces of architecture. The Executive Yuan passed its third reading in 1982 to officially subsume the church under the name of “Taiwan Taipei Zhongshan Presbyterian Church.” The Taipei City Government gave this key element of our architectural heritage formal designation as a city historical site in 1996.

From far away, you can see the three-tiered bell tower and a distinctive roof that comes to a sharp point, with crosses adorning the highest points. Though over half century old and with an exterior slightly mottled, the visual ambiance of the structure remains as always stately and imposing. Inside, which has a cruciform floor plan, many antiques from the Japanese period have been retained, such as the old organ, wooden seating, and wooden donation box. On site you'll also find two large stones with commemorative carved inscriptions from the time the Japanese completed the structure, majestic old trees that were planted at the same time, and other reminders of an intriguing past. The interior also includes arched suspension roof trusses, an architectural element rarely seen in Taiwan. Today the proud old site continues to stand tall amidst the more modern spires of a burgeoning city, the march of its noble history continued by a devoted group of believers of lofty ideal, dedicatedly preserving its traditions.

5. Holy Family Catholic Church has a design using a simple rectangular geometric pattern to complement the cross, creating an ambiance of holy solemnity.6. Holy Family Catholic Church has a tent-like shape, inviting all within, and inside is a large and bright space given a distinctive character by the 18 sections of stained glass, over a century old.7. Zhongshan Presbyterian Church has a Gothic exterior, with the classical Gothic hammer-beam roof; the stained-glass windows feature images of the Garden of Gethsemane.

Architecture of Holy White – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints Taipei Taiwan Temple (Mormon)

Located at the corner of Jinshan S. Rd. and Aiguo E. Rd., the Taipei Taiwan Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formally opened in 1984. The ethereal effect of the pure-white facade is augmented by the majesty of the six steeples that circumnavigate the site, when at the time of building saw the use of the then rarely seen steel-skeleton construction technique and light partition-walls design. The uniqueness of this example of religious architectural modeling was brought feature coverage in Architecture magazine.

8. Zhongshan Presbyterian Church has a Gothic exterior, with9. Zhongshan Presbyterian Church has a Gothic exterior, with10. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Taipei

Only devotees are permitted to enter the Taipei Taiwan Temple. This is the only Mormon temple in Taiwan. Among its six spires, the tallest soars 34.15 meters. Atop is a golden statue of the prophet Moroni, last to write in the golden plates central to Mormon belief. Both the interior and exterior of the temple are stunningly sublime, manifesting the bonds and symbolism that have been handed down generation upon generation among Mormon adherents, the zealous and energetic approach to being, and the striving for an uplifting existence that devotees are known for. Tours of the exterior of the site are available in English, Mandarin, Taiwanese, and Tagalog (a Philippine dialect), given by missionaries doing duty at the temple.

Grace Baptist Church

Tel: (02) 2362-5321
Add:90, Sec. 3, Xinsheng S. Rd.
Hours: 07:00-21:00


  • MRT—Take the Xindian Line to Gongguan Station,
    take Exit No. 3, walk about five minutes to get to Xinsheng S. Rd.
  • Bus—0 South, No. 52, 109, 280, 284, 290, 311, 505, 530,
    642, 668, 671, 675, 907, Songjiang main line, get off
    at National Taiwan University stop.

Taipei Truth Lutheran Church

Tel: (02) 2363-2096
Add: 86, Sec. 3, Xinsheng S. Rd.
Hours: 09:00-22:00
(closed Mon)


  • MRT—Take the Xindian Line to Gongguan Station,
    take Exit No. 3, walk about five minutes to get to
    Xinsheng S. Rd.
  • Bus—0 South, No. 52, 109, 280, 284, 290, 311, 505, 530,
    642, 668, 671, 675, 907, Songjiang main line, get off
    at National Taiwan University stop.
Holy Family Catholic Church
Tel: (02) 2392-0701
Add: 50, Sec. 2, Xinsheng S. Rd.
Hours: 06:00-22:00


  • Bus—No. 109, 253, 311, 505, 642, 643, 668, 671, 675,
    676, Songjiang main line, get off at stop Jinhua Xinsheng Intersection.
Zhongshan Presbyterian Church
Tel: (02) 2551-8480
Add: 62, Linsen N. Rd.
Hours: 06:00-21:00


  • Bus—No. 5, 12, 26, 46, 52, 266, 282, 288, 292, 306, 307, 605, 622, 652, Red 25, Brown 9, get off at stop Nanjing Linsen Intersection.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Taipei Taiwan Temple
Tel: (02) 2393-3285
Add: 256, Aiguo E. Rd.
Hours: Inner sanctum not open; tours of exterior Tue~Fri
13:00-21:00, Sat 10:00-21:00, Sun and Mon by appointment.


  • Bus—0 East, No. 20, 22, 38, 204, 214, 237, 606, 670, 671, Xinyi main line, get off at stop Xinyi Jinshan Intersection.