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Hong Kong Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Hong Kong Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate ConceptionThe Hong Kong Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is one of only two cathedrals in the territory of Hong Kong, the other being the Anglican St. John's Cathedral. Construction of the church began in 1883 and finished in 1888. It serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong.

Located at Caine Road by the Glenealy Ravine in the Mid-Levels, the cathedral was actually built after the original church, at the junction of Pottinger Street and Wellington Street, was destroyed by fire.

The cathedral is known for its English Gothic architecture, built in the shape of the Latin cross. Brick and stone were used for the exterior walls while its base and columns were made of granite. Clerestory windows adorn the walls.

The building was listed as a Grade I historical building by the Antiquities Advisory Board of the Hong Kong government in 1981. In 1997, the cathedral underwent massive restoration work which was completed in 2002 and cost a total of US$1.1 million. The successful restoration project earned the cathedral an honourable mention at the 2003 UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation.

The Hong Kong Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is also the site of important religous relics. Stored in a box at the foot of the Chapel of Our Lord's Passion are relics of sixteen of the 120 Chinese Martyrs canonized in 2000.

The cathedral also holds the distinction of housing the only relic of Pope John Paul II in the whole of Asia. A lock of hair of the late pontiff is currently on display in a chapel in the bishops' crypt where remains of former Bishops of Hong Kong are interred.

Protected from street traffic, the cathedral is also a popular wedding venue for its beauty and tranquility. It is located at 16 Caine Road, Mid-Levels, Central. It is open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm daily.

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