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St. Nicholas Church

At Rue Corneille (now known as Gaolan Road) lies St. Nicholas Church, a Russian orthodox church built in 1928. It was designed by Yaron, an uprooted Russian architect in Shanghai.
The church came into existence as most of the Russian bureaucratic and rich bourgeois who swarmed into Shanghai’s French Concession since the October Revolution were orthodox. Then in the French Concession near Rue Massenet, Rue Corneille was serene and with luxuriant trees. Small yet exquisite, St. Nicholas Church is a typical Russian orthodox church.
The church is Byzantine style in terms of spatial arrangement, designed on the basis of concentration and two perpendicular axes. Its four symmetric sides converged into a dome up in the center, and the exterior is adorned with pointed arch walls with different sizes and heights. In the middle of each exterior wall is a narrow arched window. The windows with traceries and stained glasses give religious appeal to the church.
At the end of the 20th century, the church’s onion-shaped dome destroyed during the Cultural Revolution was restored and the whole church, which was converted into a factory during the period, renovated.