With unique and ancient architecture, top five churches in Vietnam have attracted a wide range of international and domestic visitors.
They include The Sa Pa Stone Church, Phu Nhai Church (Nam Dinh Province), Phat Diem Cathedral (Ninh Binh Province), Hanoi Cathedral, and Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Sa Pa Stone Church
Sa Pa Stone Church has been nominated by the Vietnam Records Book Centre (VietKings) as one of the top five over 100-year-old churches in Vietnam.
It is introduced as a unique and attractive spiritual tourism destination. Located in downtown Sa Pa, with Ham Rong Mountain behind, this Roman Gothic architecture church was built with distinct pyramid rooftop, belfry, and arches. Covering 6,000sq.m, the stone church includes 7 compartments, a 20m belfry with a 1.5-meter bell, weighing 500 kilograms.
Hanoi Cathedral, also known as Saint Joseph’s Cathedral, is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Hanoi.
It was inaugurated on Christmas Day 1886, two years after its construction. Its design is similar to the architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Hanoi Cathedral is 64.5m in length, 20.5m in width with two bell towers of 31.5m-height. Though the appearance of the cathedral, from the doors, the colourful window glass, to the religious paintings for decoration follows Western style, the main interior part is decorated in Vietnamese way with two typical colours- yellow and red. Outside, in front of the cathedral is the statue of Mother Maria.
Phu Nhai Church
The church, which is located in Xuan Phuong Commune, Xuan Truong District, Nam Dinh Province, was first built in 1866 as a small temple, but was later renovated and expanded.
It is considered as the biggest church of Gothic architecture in Vietnam, with 30m height, 28m width and 80m length.
There are 2 bell towers with 44m height, containing 4 bells. It has statues stuck on the surface of the walls or the doors.
Phat Diem Stone Cathedral
Phat Diem Cathedral, located in Kim Son District, Ninh Binh Province, is one of the most famous and beautiful churches in Vietnam 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 1898. And as its name suggests, it was completely built of stone and wood that are readily available in the mountain area of Ninh Binh.
Ninh Binh Province and Japanese researchers are completing documents on Phat Diem cathedral’s architecture to submit to UNESCO for recognition as a world cultural heritage site.
Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral
Built by French architect Bourard in 1877-1880, Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral has two bell towers, reaching a height of over 57 meters.
The French-influenced design of Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral still acts as a stop for people who seek for old beauties and calmness. Not only followers keep praying under candle lights in front of Virgin Mary statue everyday but tourists and local people also come there to discover the true soul of the city.