Visiting Ricci's tomb


After three days of animated discussion during the international conference, the group of delegates went to Beijing , to visit Ricci ' s tomb and the Southern Cathedral, the first church built by Ricci in Beijing , in a tour led by CityU President Professor H K Chang and Professor Zhang LongXi, Director of the Centre for Cross-Cultual Studies.

Ricci's tomb is located at the BeijingAdministrativeCollege , a few miles from the bustling Wangfujing main shopping area. The tomb stands with 62 others in a quiet cemetery. In this largest cemetery for missionaries in China are buried European priests who came in Ming and Qing Dynasties. Along with Ricci are familiar names, such as Johann Adam Schall von Bell, Ferdinand Verbiest, and Giuseppe Castiglione, the Italian painter and missionary highly respected by Qing Emperor Qianlung.

Strolling through the cemetery, the delegates inspected the intricate stone engravings on the tombstones, trying to get a fuller grasp of the historical legacy surrounding the Ricci monument. OThis is where memories of Matteo Ricci as a historical figure have been laid to rest and also where, thanks to him, 400 years of cultural interactions between China and the West began to flourish. More than anybody else during his time, he opened our eyes and hearts to the West,O Professor Chang said.



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