Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral

Located at 1 Cong Xa Paris, District 1, Notre Dame Cathedral, the main church in Archdiocese of Ho đưa ra Minh City, is one of the largest and oldest Catholic churches in Vietnam. Besides Catholics coming lớn attend the weekly mass at the church, many people also visit to admire its ancient beauty và elegant structures.

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Catholicism in Vietnam

From the kết thúc of the 16th century, the Vietnamese started trading business with some foreigners from the West. Some of the Catholic missionaries also joined the group to Vietnam khổng lồ spread Catholicism khổng lồ Vietnamese. At first, the Catholic missionary work faced many difficulties because the Vietnamese kings were against the religion, and thus limited its popularity. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral along with other churches lượt thích Hanoi Cathedral & St. Joseph Cathedral was built in the 19th century when Catholicism was most supported by the French. After many political changes in history, Catholicism in Vietnam has developed, and there are about 6.5 million Catholic followers and 26 dioceses in Vietnam in 2016.

A Brief History of Notre Dame Cathedral

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After the French soldiers had taken control of Saigon, Catholic missionary work received many supports, and they started to lớn build churches lớn organize special occasions for those who follow Catholicism. The Notre Dame Cathedral is a modification of Saigon Church, which was rebuilt from a small abandoned pagoda in another location in Saigon. After the wooden Saigon Church was damaged by termites, they decided khổng lồ build a new one. The design of the French architect J. Bourard was chosen lớn construct the new church in its present site.

The price of building materials & other sponsors from the government was about FRF 2,500,000 at that time. At first, the name of the church was National French Church because the French paid most of the building fees of the church but later changed to Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception. It took them only 3 years khổng lồ complete it. On Easter in 1880, the church"s opening inauguration took place, & the locals were allowed lớn attend daily mass.

The Notre Dame Cathedral"s Architecture

Most building materials such as cement and stained glasses were imported from France to lớn construct the church, especially the red bricks from Marseille. The chất lượng of these materials has been proven by the long last beauty and firm structure of Notre Dame Cathedral until today.

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The interior was designed lớn celebrate events for 1,200 people, the length of the cathedral is 93 meters, the width is 35 meters, & the height khổng lồ the proof is about 21 meters. There are three areas inside the church: the nave in the middle, two aisles on both sides, & the chapels. There are small altars with statuses in the chapels, & the main altar was made of marble, sculpted with sophisticated patterns. There are also a lot of beautiful sculptures of characters & events in the Bibles. And one of the most impressive beauties of the church is the assembly of 52 magnificent stained glass windows gorgeous pictures.

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Between the bell towers, there is a clock made in Switzerland in 1887. It looks lượt thích a small window from afar, but its system is very complicated inside.Inside the two bell towers at the đứng đầu of the church, there is a system of six bells chiming different sounds, which were produced in France and imported khổng lồ Vietnam in 1879, và it was not until 1895 thattwo tented roofs were added lớn the bell towers.

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Statue of Our Lady of Peace in Notre Dame Cathedral

In the garden in front of the cathedral, at first, the French placed bronze statues of diocesan Pigneau de Béhaine, who devoted most of his life to spreading Catholicism in Vietnam, và Prince Canh, the son of Gia Long King. In 1945, these sculptures were removed by the people who are against French colonization. In 1959, the Vietnamese priest Pham Van Thien decided khổng lồ order the statue of Our Lady of Peace made of trắng marble stones from abroad lớn replace the old ones. And since then, people in Saigon started to hotline the church "Notre Dame Cathedral" (Nha tho Duc Ba).

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Statues of Diocesan Pigneau de Béhaine và PrinceCanh

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Statue of Our Lady of Peace

Notre Dame CathedralMass Schedule

From Monday to Saturday at5:30 AM và 5 PMSunday at5:30 AM, 6:30 AM, 7:30 AM, 9:30 AM, 4 PM, 5:15 PM, và 6:30 PM

***Notice: From July 2017, Notre Dame Cathedral has gone under a renovation, which should be finished by June 2020. Visitors are not allowed; only Catholic believers attending mass can go inside.

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Activities around Notre Dame Cathedral

Surrounding by modern skyscrapers in the center of Saigon, the Notre Dame Cathedral is always a pride of Saigon. On occasions such as Christmas and New Year Eve, the people often congregate around the church khổng lồ enjoy the celebrating spirit of these traditional Western events. The church, as well as many streets and buildings around this area, are decorated with colorful lights and beautiful figures.

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The walls outside of the church are also often chosen as ideal backgrounds lớn take pictures for many people, especially Vietnamese wedding couples. It is not hard lớn find brides in gowns & grooms in tuxedo or girls wearing Ao dai doing their photoshoots here.

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Located in a busy central district, Notre Dame Cathedral is also near a lot of other attractions & local places where you can visit and go shopping lượt thích Diamond Plaza, Saigon Central Post Office, & 30-4 Public Park.

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Saigon Central Post Office

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On the right of the Cathedral, Saigon Central Post Office is another famous attraction in Saigon. This building was also built by the French after they had finished the construction of the cathedral. Notre Dame Cathedral & Saigon Central Post Office have been the two iconic symbols of Saigon since they were built.

If you are interested in the historical places, let our tour guides show you more when you join our Day Tour Adventure.

30-4 (April 30th) Park và Ca Phe Bet (Makeshift Street Coffee)

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This public park is a favorite place for most young Vietnamese lớn hang out and have coffee with their friends. They often gather here, buying a cup of coffee, & kick back in their leisure time around noon or afternoon. You should walk around this area to enjoy the peaceful & fresh air that could be difficult khổng lồ find in the city center. You can also enjoy the Vietnamese milk coffee like the locals to understand why they love this drink so much.

When going around this area, you often run into some local students who want khổng lồ practice English; if you are not in a rush và you feel comfortable, making small conversation with them could help you learn more about the lifestyle và interesting things in Saigon. However, you must be well aware of pickpockets and con artists because they usually lurk around these areas for money. Read more on Annoyances and Scams in Vietnam.

At the moment, since the church is under construction, there is little to lớn no street coffee activity around the area.