Tourism Thứ tư, 18/09/2013 09:23

Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral is one of Vietnamese architectural masterpieces, covering 30,000m2 and consisting of a lake, a grand Cathedral with four separate side chapels, three artificial grottoes, and a majestic bell tower named Phuong Dinh.

General view of Phat Diem cathedral
General view of Phat Diem cathedral

Known as the most famous and beautiful churches in Vietnam, Phat Diem Stone Cathedral was designed with special architecture: an elegant combination between Western church architecture style and Vietnamese religious buildings. It took 24 years to build this church from 1875 to 1899.

At first sight, visitors are easily attracted to square lake on the main road to the cathedral. In the middle of the lake, there is a small island with statue of Jesus Christ.

Phuong Dinh (bell house) easily becomes the next eye-catching monument, with stone carvings on both sides of the walls. It is 25 meters high, 17meters wide and 24meters long with three stories.

Pass across Phuong Dinh, you will set foot in colossal cathedral which was built in 1891, with 5 entrances, 5 porches of which were all made of stone with meticulous and sophisticated patterns, images.

The grand cathedral
The grand cathedral
When one penetrates inside, one is impressed by the dim and quietness of the interior, and the pleasant sense of warmth radiating from the wood construction and decoration.

What immediately catches one’s eye are the two rows of huge pillars leading to the sanctuary, which is splendidly decorated with chiseled woodwork, lacquered and gilded. Many more pillars are to be seen.

The cathedral: lacquered and gilt retable
Lacquered and gilt retable inside the grand cathedral
The roof rests on 52 ironwood pillars 16 of which are 11 metres high, 2,60 metres in circumference and 7 tons in weight.

he cathedral: the nave
The nave of the grand cathedral
2 sides of the grand cathedral are 4 smaller chapels named St Roch’s chapel, St Jesus’s chapel, St Peter’s chapel, and Chapel immaculate heart of Mary. Each chapel represents a special architecture.
The four side chapels
The four side chapels

The most impressive building of Phat Diem cathedral complex is Chapel immaculate heart of Mary (or Stone chapel) which was completely built of stone, from ground, walls, supports, window bars, beams, bas reliefs…

The Chapel immaculate heart of Mary (the stone chapel)
The Chapel immaculate heart of Mary (the stone chapel)

The unique architecture style of the Stone cathedral is the only one in Vietnam and worldwide. That may be the reason why many take name of Stone chapel to call whole complex of Phat Diem cathedral church.

(Translated by: Nguyễn Thủy)

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