No, this isn’t a church in Europe. This picture was taken in old town Qingdao. The evidence of German influence is seen throughout the old parts of town. The old town is comprised of stone churches, homes, buildings and brick streets. Daily reminders of the European impact in China. Qingdao was occupied by Germany between 1898-1914 and German culture is part of Qingdao’s history. Qingdao dates back over 6,000 years. Back to the days of emperors and ancient Chinese dynasties. In 1891, Qingdao (a.k.a. Tsingdao) was a small fishing village. Germany quickly recognized Qingdao as an important harbor and military naval location. Germany instilled large sums of money into modernizing Qingdao. Beautiful churches, solid brick houses, wide stone roads, sewage and safe drinking water was given to this old fishing village. The Roman Catholic and Protestant churches of Europe invested resources into mission work. Schools were built and education was the gift given to the Qingdao people. Qingdao is known to this day to have the greatest percentage of educated residents per capita in China. In 1903, the Germans started the first German brewery in Qingdao and the famous Tsingdao beer empire had it’s beginnings. Tsingdao beer is exported throughout Europe and the United States and is the leading Chinese beer distributed internationally. We had the opportunity to tour both the old Tsingdao brewery and the modern day production facility. You can tell how proud the people are of their worldwide beer making reputation. The Chinese take pride in both their ancient Chinese heritage and more modern European cultural influences. It is very interesting to see the mixture of ancient China, Germany and modern China all in one place.