Cathedral of Our Lady of Saigon (Notre-Dame Cathedral Saigon)

Polina
Polina
Updated: 20 September 2019
Time to read: 6 minutes
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Notre-Dame Cathedral Cathedral Saigon is one of the most popular attractions of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly called Saigon). The building was erected by the French colonialists at the end of the XIX century.

The architecture is very similar to the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

The cathedral is open from 4 am to 11 am, then from 3 pm to 4 pm

History of the construction of the cathedral

The building was erected so that the Christian cathedral with its grandeur eclipsed the Buddhist temples. Red bricks for construction were brought from Marseille, beautiful stained glass windows from Chartres, and the rest of the architecture elements from other parts of Europe.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Saigon

Notre Dame Cathedral was built on the central square of Ho Chi Minh City, in the Paris Commune, the resting place of tourists and locals. Currently, the building is considered the most historic building of the area, along with central post office.

For the construction was originally chosen three places:

  • the intersection of Le Duan Boulevard and Hai Ba Trang Street;
  • Kin-Lon district, Nguyen Hu boulevard;
  • intersection of Nguent Du and Dong Hoi streets (final location).

Thanks to the high-quality European materials used in the construction, the building has not faded under the bright sun and to this day it looks fresh. Walls with a thickness of just over half a meter provide the rooms with good thermal and sound insulation.

Features of the architecture of the cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral SaigonThe roof of the building consists of three types of tiles:

  1. “Yin-Yang”, used for the lowest part.
  2. “Fish scales”, applied in the middle part.
  3. The tile of the European type decorating roof top.

When inspecting the building you can see a memorial plate on which the names of the creator, the day of the beginning and end of construction are recorded. Since the project was financed from the budget of the French treasury, at the end of construction, the cathedral was given the status of state.

At present, the height of the building is 60.5 m. This was achieved by erecting two bell towers 57 and 6 m high. They have crosses 3.5 m high and 2 m wide.

Initially, at the entrance there was a bronze statue with the image of Bishop Adransky Pinho de Beheina under the arm of Prince Cunhu. After its destruction in 1945, a statue of the Virgin Mary was installed on the building.

What attracts the cathedral

The above-mentioned statue of the Mother of God reaches a height of four meters. In her hands she holds a small globe as a symbol of the ubiquitous spread of the Christian Gospel, and with her foot steps on the vigil. It symbolizes that good triumphs over evil. At the feet of the statue is placed a donation box from the parishioners.

the Virgin Mary

On the belltower erected on the roof there are six bells with different sounding notes (without the “fa”). On weekdays, two of them sound, and on weekends – three. At Christmas, you can hear everything. Electronics-controlled bells can be heard at a distance of 10 km from the cathedral.

Externally, the building looks elegant and simple. But inside it is decorated with magnificent arches, frescoes with scenes from the Bible. Images occupy the entire space of the ceiling and walls. In the center there is an altar of pure white marble with carved statues of angels.

During the service, the organ sounds, the choir sings. In this case, the audibility is limited to the walls of the cathedral.

Chapel

Since the construction of the building, no candles were used in it, since the entire temple was originally electrified.

The clock installed on the facade, brought from Switzerland in the eighties of the XIX century. The chronometer weighing one ton is placed at a height of 15 m between two bell towers.

Notre Dame de Saigon Cathedral is worth a look at every tourist visiting Vietnam. He absorbed the features of architecture and culture not only of this country, but also of Europe.

Polina
Author
Polina
Since 2013, we live with a spouse in different countries, including China, the Philippines, the United States, and Vietnam. I dance, teach pole dance and write about our travel.
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