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Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

Many people were surprised and admired when looking at the Notre Dame Cathedral, a particularly impressive architecture thanks to the pastors and artisans of the past who brought all their hearts to build it.

 

The precursor of Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

Notre Dame Cathedral today is the cathedral of Saigon Archdiocese. Before that, in the first phase of Tay Dang Trong diocese (now the Archdiocese of Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City), there was once the first church, called Saigon church on the 5th street (now Ngo Duc Ke Street, District 1) and then the Saigon church (2nd) built by wood on the side of the Great Canal.

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

The Great Canal was formerly known as Cho Vai Canal or Charner Canal, located in the middle of Nguyen Hue Road, starting from the Bach Dang Wharf, running straight to the West Communal Palace, which is now the headquarters of People's Council and People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City (86 Le Thanh Ton, Q1). On April 11, 1861, by a decision of Admiral Leonard Victor Joseph Charner, the Great Canal was renamed Charner Canal. On both sides of the canal, there are two parallel roads: Rigault de Genouilly (Tax Trade Center) and Charner Road (Palace Hotel).

 

In 1887, the Charner canal was leveled. Two roads on either side of the canal are merged into Charner Avenue. In 1956, Charner Avenue was renamed Nguyen Hue Boulevard, and today is Nguyen Hue Walking Street.

 

Journey to build a classic architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

In preparation for a solid, sustainable church over time, worthy of being the central church of the thriving Southern land - Saigon, in August 876, the Governor of the South Vietnam, Guy Victor Auguste Duperré organized a competition to design a new church - the third Saigon church (the Notre Dame Cathedral at present).

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

Overcoming many designs participated in the contest, the project of architect J.Bourad was chosen. His design was very unique, coordinating two famous classical architectural standards: Roman and Gothic.

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

South Vietnam Governor Guy Victor Auguste Duperré also organized a tender to select a contractor for a new church. Finally, architect J.Bourad also won the bid to build this special project.

 

After the official blueprint was selected, the issue of the location of the new church was also gradually set and selected. First of all, the Truong Thi school location, located at the corner of Le Duan Street - Hai Ba Trung, was currently the French Consulate. The second place was the location of the old church on the side of the Great Canal (now the Nguyen Hue walking street). But in the end, the current position was chosen and the Notre Dame Cathedral has presented lively in the heart of Saigon during the past 138 years.

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

On October 7, 1877, Bishop Isidore Colombert, (Vietnamese name Duc Cha My), was a bishop representing the Tay Dang Trong diocese at that time, placed the first stone to build the Saigon church ( now the Notre Dame Cathedral).

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

The construction is fairly fast, about two and a half years. The church was completed on Easter 1880, and the inauguration of Saigon church was also solemnly celebrated by Bishop Isidore Colombert with the participation of the Governor of South Vietnam Charles Le Myre de Villes.

 

The main materials to build the church such as cement, steel, tiles, stained glass, bells ... all were brought from France. In the beginning, the church was called the Government church, because all construction costs were provided by the French government, which was 2.5 million French francs at that time.

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

The highest parts of the church are the two bell towers. When the project was completed in 1880, two bell towers were about 37m high. In 1895, following an additional design of architect Fernand Gardes, two spire-shaped steel towers were erected above the bell towers, making the church bell towers rose high in the sky with a total height of about 60m. To support the bell set weighing nearly 30 tons with 6 bells, the tower walls were built very thick, about 1.4m.

 

Important milestones that mark the name of the Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

From the bell tower, looking out, there will be a square (now called The Commune of Paris) with 4 small roads intersecting to form a cross, the center of the cross is the statue of Our Lady of Peace built 1959 by sculptor G.Ciocchetti.

 

The statue is 4.6m high, weighs 5.8 tons made of Italian Carrara white marble, carved with the purpose of looking from a distance so it is not polished, so the whole body, including the face is still stain rough sculpture.

Statue of Our Lady of Peace in an upright position, holding a globe with a crucifix on it. The eyes of the Mother of Peace staring at the sky as if praying for Vietnam and the world to be peaceful.

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

At the time of 1959, Cardinal Agagianian made a sacrament for the statue of Our Lady of Peace in the square in front of the Saigon church.

 

Since then, with this event, the Saigon church is called the Notre Dame Cathedral. On the stone pedestal, in front of the statue of Our Lady of Peace, there is a bronze plaque with Latin words: REGINA PACIS - ORA PRO NOBIS - XVII. II. MCMLIX, meaning "Queen of Peace - Please pray for us - 17.2959".

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

The Notre Dame Cathedral has been designed by architect J. Rourad in a very unique architecture, harmoniously combining Roman and Gothic styles to create a unique style for the church.

 

The work also marks the exchange of East-West culture and architecture. Architect Jourad succeeded in designing a building in the Western culture and built in the East with new structures and materials but suitable for the local social and climate.

 

The mystery of the 138-year-old building

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

When designing roof tile, Mr. Jourad architect succeeded in harmoniously combining Vietnamese roof tiles with Western roof tiles. Based on the current type of roof tile, it is possible to divide the church roof into 3 areas with more than 100,000 bricks.

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

The antique bell set installed inside the two bell towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral was designed and operated very nicely.

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

6 large bronze bells, crafted by Bollee Bell Casting Company in 1879 in France with fine lines and patterns. The set of bells weighs a total of about 30 tons, with its sound uniquely mixed with the following bows: sol - la - si - do - re - mi

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

On the stained glass windows at the lower and upper walls of the Notre Dame Cathedral, there are holy artworks, featuring content of holy figures and events in the Bible.

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

Stained glass system is designed very special and harmonious light, creating a wonderful lighting effect and a solemn, peaceful atmosphere in the church ... Fanciful light also makes the details of the interior of the cathedral stand out and are more beautiful. All stained glass windows were manufactured by Lorin (France).

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

The altar of the sanctuary in Notre Dame Cathedral is made of monolithic marble with six angels carved on the altar stone. The stone pedestal of the altar is divided into 3 parts, this is a beautiful art sculpture depicting events in the Bible.

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

The light from the chandeliers was designed with patterns in Roman-Gothic style to create a sparkling, solemn and sacred space.

Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

The light from the chandeliers was designed with patterns in Roman-Gothic style to create a sparkling, solemn and sacred space. These chandeliers were crafted in France from 138 years ago, today they are still here in the church, witnessing the over 100 years history of the Notre Dame Cathedral ...

Google Map of Notre Dame Cathedral

[Video] Notre Dame Cathedral: A 138-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of Saigon.

Top Questions about Notre Dame Cathedral


For tourists to visit: Morning 8:30 - 10:00, afternoon 14:30 - 15:30 (Monday - Friday) Mass: Morning 5:30, 17:00 pm (Mon - Sat), Sunday: 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 9:30 (for foreigners), 16:00, 17:00, 18:30 Address: No. 1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1. Located on the main road in the center of......

Location: Located in the central area, right in the Paris Commune, the main gate of Notre Dame Cathedral is southeast to Nguyen Du Street, and behind the church is Le Duan Street. It is not difficult to realize because this is a strange building, there is no fence or campus around it, so you can......

Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral at night has long been a place of night entertainment that many people enjoy and choose. If you have never been here once, you wonder why this place is so famous and attracts so many people every night. Especially, every Christmas night, the place becomes one of the......

According to our research, currently the Notre Dame Cathedral has the dress code as follow: Dress modestly and appropriately, discreetly & seriously. Do not wear hats, shorts, camisole. Do not wear skirts that are too short and open-necked shirts. Do not use phones, tablets or other electronic......

Currently, as far as we know, the entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral is completely free. Notre Dame Cathedral is open free to all visitors. Therefore, you will not spend any cost when visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon. If someone comes near you and says you have to buy an entrance ticket to......

According to official Vietnamese newspapers, the Notre Dame Cathedral is currently closed for 2 years for renovation. The Notre Dame Cathedral (District 1 - THCM) is undergoing renovation works for a period of 2 years with an estimated cost of VND 140 billion, so it will be temporarily closed for......

There are quite a number of tourists who come to Saigon to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, especially those who worship Christianity, who want to stay here to attend the Mass, but they do not know when the Mass takes place. Understanding this and to help you know the Mass schedule of the Notre Dame......

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