The Panda in Europe 2


The College of Foreign Missions of Moupin, today referred to as the “Church of Dengchigou”.


As mentioned previously in the last article, David invested 9 months in the previous “principality of Moupin”, from March 1 to November 21, 1869. He remained at the University of Foreign Missions of Moupin, under the instructions of Mr. Dugrité.

This college is better understood today as the “church of Dengchigou” from the name of the valley where this church is located, in the county of Baoxing, formerly Moupin.

Thanks to the kindness of Mr. Sun Qian, whom I had actually met in Chengdu in July 2013 and also author of guide “Notes on the society of the huge panda”, I had the enormous opportunity of visiting this church as well as sleeping there one evening on March 30 as well as 31, 2015. Mr. Sunlight provided me an extremely pleasant welcome and was bordered by Mr. Luo Weixiao, Mrs. Ling, Mr. Gao Huakang and Mrs. Miaini, a journalist from the “People’s Paper” that had come specifically from Beijing. The here and now Father of the church, Mr. Chen, also offered me the excellent satisfaction to allow us to sleep there as well as to share this night as well as night with us.

Last year, Luo Weixiao cycled from Dengchigou church to the community of Espelette, David’s hometown. He cycled greater than 15,000 km between March 18 as well as July 10, 2014. “The huge panda is a link between China as well as France. David came from France as well as presented the globe to the giant panda after his journey to China. I’m making the opposite trip, from China to France. I would love to present the culture of the panda to the whole world. “explained Luo to the journalists that were awaiting him in Espelette on July 10, 2014.

Ms. Ling operates at the organization to promote tourism in Sichuan province.

Mr. Gao has actually photographed numerous pandas, both wild as well as saved.

Lastly, Mr. Zhu Bo, replacement mayor of Baoxing region did us the honor of sharing supper with us.

Mr. Sun provided me an amazing trip of the church as well as researched its historical files for his book.

The Catholic church in Dengchigou was built in 1839 and also is nearly totally made from wood. Its design is a combination of Baoxing style and European design. It contains a church adjoining a square yard of regarding 500 m ². This courtyard is confined on two sides by a three-storey structure, on the third side by the church and also when it comes to the 4th side, the one dealing with the valley, it is just a wood facade making up a vast doorway. The entire comprises the former secondary school and also the developed surface area is approx. 3,500 m ² (3,500 sq ft). A number of inhabitants of the Dengchigou valley are still Christians.

Dengchigou Church in Ya'an Sichuan
Dengchigou Church in Ya’an Sichuan

On the ground floor in the building opposite the huge door is the former space of David, an antechamber where he offered tea to his visitors, and an area where he sorted his collections (laboratory). David’s area ignored the hill as well as from his window he can observe the multitude of birds in the shrubs around the site. An additional area beyond of his space was the library, currently converted into an exhibition room. On the initial floor of this very same building there were and also still have to do with 10 spaces; they were utilized at the time to house the pupils who concerned find out faith. The second floor was generally used as a stockroom.

The structure to the left of the square yard had a kitchen area and dining room on the very beginning and also areas and also storeroom on the very first flooring.

The church in Dengchigou did not have to struggle with the Cultural Change of 1966. Certainly, as early as 1958, Mao applied the “Terrific Leap Onward”, an industrial plan of steel manufacturing. The church was after that used as a site to house workers that manipulated asbestos.


The panda in Europe 3