Oura Catholic Church is located
about 2.5 km south of JR Nagasaki station.
It is on a hill and there is Glover Garden to the west of this church.
In Japanese, it is called "Ooura Tenshudou".
This church was designed by two French priests, Bernard Petitjean and
Louis-Theodore Furet, and built by Japanese carpenters in 1864.
The original church was baroque style mixed with Gothic style, but major remodeling and expansion was undergone from 1875 to 1879.
Fortunately, this church was not badly damaged by A-bomb in 1945, and
the repair was completed in 1952.
It is the oldest existing Christian building in Japan, and has been designated as a national treasure since 1953.
In 1596, Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1537-1598), who unified Japan after a
century of war, banned Christianity.
He ordered to catch Franciscans in Japan and the Japanese believers because they had been very active.
And 26 Christians were caught in Kyoto and Osaka, and they were sent to Nagasaki.
They were put to death at Nishizaka hill near current Nagasaki station.
So this church faces the hill to offer the 26 saints.
This church was opened in 1865 for French people staying in Nagasaki.
But, soon after the open, three Japanese ladies came to the Father. And they confessed that they had been hidden Christians, although Christianity had been banned.
The Father was surprised that hidden Japanese Christians had been alive for over 250 years since Anti-Christian Edicts in 1612.
This news was reported to Rome, then Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) was deeply moved and said that it was the Oriental miracle.
By street car with route No. 5, get off at Oura-Tenshudo-shita stop.
Photo by Railstation.net
Photo by (c)Tomo.Yun
Photo by artworks
Oura Catholic Church