Discover Notre Dame Cathedral of Sai Gon: The nearly 140-year-old architectural masterpiece of Saigon urban area

As one of the four basilicas in Vietnam, Notre Dame is considered an architectural masterpiece, contributing to the urban face and marking the formation and development of Saigon urban.

Despite experiencing many impacts, Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon (also known as Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon ) still retains its value, becoming a work not only of religious significance but also of great significance. is a symbol of the city, a tourist destination that any visitor to Saigon will not forget to visit.

About Notre Dame Cathedral

Where is Notre Dame Cathedral?

Notre Dame Cathedral is located at 1 Paris Commune Square, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. It was originally proposed to be built in 3 locations: one is on the old Truong Thi foundation (now the corner of Hai Ba Trung and Le Duan streets), the other is the Kinh Lon area (present-day Nguyen Hue street) and the third is the location of of the present.

The current location is in the most central part of the city, facing Nguyen Du Street and facing Le Duan Street.

Opening hours of Notre Dame Cathedral of Sai Gon

Visitors can go to Notre Dame Cathedral at any time of the day, even in the evening, it is still very crowded. However, if you want to get inside, you must arrive on time (from 5:30 to 17:00). If you do not attend the ceremony, you also need about 90 minutes to 2 hours to visit, take photos, drink coffee and eat here.

1 in 4 basilicas of Vietnam

A basilica is the special title of honor given to certain churches or holy sites by the Pope in Rome or around the world, in terms of its antiquity, historical importance, and spiritual significance. . In Vietnam, there are 4 churches that own this noble title, including Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon, La Vang church, Phu Nhai church and Ke So church. The full name of Notre Dame Cathedral is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

History of Notre Dame Cathedral

The church was built by France to serve as a place of worship for Catholics.

The first church was built at house 5, this was an abandoned temple of the Vietnamese, then the late Lefebvre had it repaired into a church.

Due to the small area, in 1863, Admiral Bonard decided to start a new construction entirely out of wood on the bank of the Courthouse of the Republic of Vietnam.

In August 1876, the Governor of Cochinchina Duperre held an exam to draw a new church design project and chose the project of architect J. Bourard with a Roman architectural style mixed with Europe’s unique Gothic architecture. .

On October 7, 1877 Bishop Isidore Colombert laid the first stone and in April 1880 the work was officially inaugurated.

It is known that the total cost of building the church is about 2.5 million Francs, gradually upgraded with more items to become a complete work as it is now.

By 2018, many items of this work had deteriorated, so Notre Dame Cathedral began to be restored and maintained up to now.

Typical architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral of Sai Gon

With a total length of 91 m, a width of 35.5 m, the main dome is 21 m high and the two bell towers on both sides are nearly 57 m high, Notre-Dame Cathedral is built with cement as the main, the outside is built of stone. green and ceiling tiles. If you visit the Church, you should not miss the interior architecture because of the ancientness that nowhere else has.

Holy See

The main area is specially designed, the largest in the church, can bear up to 10 times the entire internal architecture with a capacity of more than 1,200 people, the cathedral is 93 m long, 35 m wide, the height of the dome nearly 21 m with the design including the main heart, two side chambers and two rows of chapels on either side.

The altars inside

The altars inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon are carved with monolithic marble. 56 colorful glass windows put together create a very beautiful image. These doorways depict biblical characters and events. Along with that, the lines and decorative patterns inside are pure Roman and Gothic, dignified and elegant.

Bell tower of Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon

After nearly 15 years of completion, the church was built in 1895, two new bell towers of Notre Dame were built. According to the architect’s design, the bell tower is 57m high with 21m of dome. Now there are 6 bells in 6 tones hanging on these two bell towers, they are designed and undone by the hands of French artisans.

The statue of Mother Hoa Binh and the park outside the Church

In front of the church, it intersects with four roads to form a cross – a symbol of Catholicism. Placed in the center of the park is a marble statue of Hoa Binh’s mother, sculpted by G.Ciocchetti in 1959. This statue was brought back from Rome and placed right on the old background – where the image of the Dementor used to be. Adran brought Prince Canh with him.

The statue of Our Lady has a height of 4.6m, weighs 8 tons in an upright position, holding a globe with a crucifix nailed in his hand, staring up at the sky as if praying for peace for the people of Vietnam. This is also the reason that the church is named Notre Dame Cathedral.

Experiences when going to Notre Dame Cathedral

Visiting the interior of Notre Dame Cathedral

As introduced above, the unique architecture of Notre Dame will not disappoint visitors when visiting. It seems that every corner in Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is very sophisticated and beautiful, with medieval European style.

Feeding pigeons in front of Notre Dame Cathedral

Weigh only a handful of bread crumbs or nuts to reach the pigeons in front of the church grounds. This will be one of the fun experiences, moreover, it will help you get a “virtual life” picture like the west sky.

 For more than 10 years, the image of pigeons flying in front of Notre Dame Cathedral (District 1, Ho Chi Minh City) has become familiar and is considered a symbol of the city. Photo VNE

Check-in with Notre Dame Cathedral background

As a point where many young Saigonese as well as tourists choose to “live virtual”, Notre Dame Cathedral is like “affirming” that you have visited Saigon.

Enjoy a cup of coffee and snacks next to Notre Dame Cathedral

As a typical drink of Saigon, it is also very interesting to have a glass of brown ice with friends sitting in the corners of trees and grass while looking at the majestic cathedral. This is also a way to discover the interesting lifestyle of the modern people. Besides, the church near the alleys is the “food paradise” of Saigon.

3 Responses
  1. […] The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon is one of the tourist attractions in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, considered a distinctive symbol of the city. Located in an ideal central position, this cathedral stands out with its European architecture, blending both Gothic and Roman styles, featuring pinkish-red brick walls, vibrant stained glass windows, and the largest bells in Vietnam. The cathedral serves not only as the operational church of the Saigon diocese but also as a source of pride for the city’s residents. Additionally, around the cathedral grounds, there is a culinary paradise with delicious pastries, fried snacks, salads, and more for you to enjoy. […]

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