Story behind the 100-year-old Roman columns in Zengjiayan
The most prominent Roman column
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- Recently, Chongqing Municipal Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources released the fifth batch of historical buildings protection list in Chongqing, and the wall columns of the Discalced Carmelite Order in Zengjiayan of Yuzhong District are on the list. A few Roman columns hidden behind the old residential building, which is located at No. 126, Yujiancun, Daxigou, are only one side of the outer wall of the Catholic Church that used to be here. They have undergone hundreds of years of wind and rain. The reporter of Chongqing Evening News specially went to Zengjiayan to explore the story behind the 100-year-old Roman columns.
Hidden Roman columns
The wall columns of the Discalced Carmelite Order are hidden behind the old residential buildings, which are difficult to find out. Enter from the alley of the gate of Zengjiayan Elementary School, turn left and walk a short section, then you can see a door with three gold-plating Chinese characters, “Guan Sheng Ti” (Guansheng Ladder) on the top. The house number is “126 Yujiancun”, which means the columns are here!
The Guansheng Ladder is about several hundred meters long and two meters wide. It is winding with a quiet surrounding. There are high walls on both sides. The moss on the stone slabs showed that the alley was deserted. The person in charge of Daxigou Street told the reporter that one side of Guansheng Ladder is now the Shangqingsi Street, and the other side is Daxigou Street. The residents who go through the alley are mainly the people living in the old residential buildings at the middle of the alley.
When this reporter first came to look for the Roman column, nearby residents who were taking physical exercise thought he was looking for the column in the temple, so told the reporter that it was under the cliff. Then, the reporter returned without accomplishing anything. Later, under the leadership of the relevant person in charge of Daxigou Street, the reporter found the column behind an old residential building in the middle of the alley.
A 100-year-old church in old residential buildings
The old residential building was a staff building in the 1990s, and few lessees knew Roman columns, which are located on the innermost cliff of residential building, less than 1 meter away from the residential buildings, forming a narrow lane for only one person to pass. It is exactly blocked by residential buildings.
About ten pale yellow Roman columns are on a gray wall. According to the measurement, this remnant wall is about 27 meters long and about 5 meters high, and each column has exquisite patterns. It is worth mentioning that the Roman column in the middle, which is separated from the wall, is prominent, and the patterns on it are more elaborate. On the top of the wall, there are two horizontal decorative bands, the upper one is a Europa pattern, and the lower one is a very traditional Chinese pattern. Except for the columns, the wall is supposed to have been built at the same time. The brick inside is relatively large and solid. The plaster on the wall has been repaired many times. So, it can be inferred that the Catholic Church that was built here at that time was relatively large from the wall.
Missionary schools in Shangqingsi
According to the related person in charge of Yuzhong District, from the remaining Roman columns, it can be inferred that the church is the original Romanesque church because the principal-subordinate relationship on the axis, symmetry and composition is obvious. The main surface composition with strict proportion reflects elegant and luxurious features. At the same time, the building also highlights the characteristics of the local environment, for example, in the building materials and crafts, the regional culture is showed, and some decoration has the traditional Chinese architectural style.
At that time, missionary schools were built in Shangqingsi by the church and some of them still remain after changes, such as Qiujing High School and Mingcheng High School at present. In addition, Shude Ladies School and Qiming School in Zengjiayan before were also built by the church. (Translated by Mao Qiao, Fathom Language Limited)