“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Coming Down Alert – Recoleta Mission, Rue Moliere

Posted: March 28th, 2010 | 4 Comments »

To be technically accurate, not actually coming down but effectively smashed to bits all the same. The former Jesuit Recoleta Mission (Misioneras Agustinas Recoletas) stands on on Rue Moliere (Xiangshan Road) close to the former house of Sun Yat-sen on the junction with Rue Massenet (now Sinan Road), close to the north west corner of the junction. Many older Shanghailanders will know it as a building close to what was the once popular Shanghai Sally’s pub, where I once won the pub quiz! I believe the Mission was quite late to be founded – 1947 – after having been established in The Philippines and the result of a split from the Augustinian Recollects of the Philippines on 18 January 1947.

Last week it was noticed that the beautiful stained glass windows that formed the backdrop of the chapel had been smashed out – though easy to remove intact it appears the job was surgically done with a couple of hammers rendering the stained glass into a million shards of uselessness. There was also formerly some fine ecclesiastical detailing over the doors on the ground floor which is now also gone. It’s a shame to think that those stained glasses survived the Cultural Revolution to be smashed to pieces in the run up to EXPO! The building now appears to be a hastily thrown together dormitory for migrant workers employed on a nearby construction site.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

4 Comments on “Coming Down Alert – Recoleta Mission, Rue Moliere”

  1. 1 Fiona said at 8:33 pm on March 28th, 2010:

    Paul, I have been enjoying your website since coming to Shanghai some 8 months ago, the mix of historical tidbits and current events is really enjoyable and I always learn something. Why are these old buildings so little treasured? Does no-one care enough about the craftsmanship behind those windows to remove them intact? Or the history being demolished?

  2. 2 Y said at 10:58 pm on March 28th, 2010:

    Anybody’s got a picture of that building ?? (pre-demo, of course).

  3. 3 Y said at 10:59 pm on March 28th, 2010:

    And @Fiona: it is only all about ONE thing: the $$. They’ll realize their mistakes later… Every country, every city has gone through such a period, I’m sure.

  4. 4 Paul French said at 11:12 am on March 29th, 2010:

    There is a picture of the windows in Tess Johnston’s book God and Country – Western Religious Architecture in China – Old China Hand Press


Leave a Reply