The Catholic Cathedral was built in the 30s. of the last century, when Vietnam was still a French colony and Catholicism played a significant role, especially in the southern part of the country. During this period, temples were built in almost all Vietnamese cities. Even now, 8-10% of the total population are Catholics, although a significant part of them live abroad.
For construction, an elevated location on Bong Hill was chosen. The top of it had to be removed in order to free a construction site measuring about 4.5 thousand square meters. m and flatten it. The erection of the sacred structure took several years. In 1934 it was consecrated, and a clock and a cross were installed on the tower a little later.
The exterior of the church
The cathedral is an excellent example of French Gothic architecture with lancet arches, high stone columns, massive entrance doors. It has two lateral naves, a semicircular ledge and a bell tower closed from the front of the facade with a height of almost 40 m with three large old bells. On each side are arched galleries. And although concrete blocks were used as a building material, thanks to its architectural features, the complex looks solemn and impressive.
The main initiator and active participant in the construction of a religious memorial in Nha Trang was the Catholic priest Louis Valle, who became the first bishop of the resort town and played a prominent role in the spread of Catholicism in South Vietnam. After death, he was buried at the foot of the temple complex.
The territory of the cathedral and a small area for walks are surrounded by a beautiful latticed fence, which can be reached by a long staircase. Around the square there are cozy benches for relaxing in the shade of trees. Another road leads to the backyard of the church. Nearby was a Catholic cemetery, but during the construction of the railway it had to be demolished. The remains of buried citizens were transferred to the niche of the outer wall and marked with plaques.
At the entrance to the temple is a large sculpture of Christ, and around it and along stone steps there are figures of saints and decorative plates depicting religious subjects. There is also a small altar in the form of a cave, where locals come to pray. The vaulted arches gallery is surrounded by wonderful flowers.
The interior of the temple
Great and the interior of the church. In it, as in all Gothic churches, there are no wall paintings - they are replaced by colored glass. Sunlight penetrates through the bright mosaic of stained-glass windows, breaking up into many rainbow colors and filling the room with mysterious energy. Their light is enough for daylight. It is believed that these stained glass windows became a copy of the mosaics of Notre Dame. Indeed, the round mosaic window of the church in the form of a large rose resembles the same in Paris.
Such windows in the form of a rose flower are symbolic, their center characterizes the existence of God in this world. They were usually placed on the western facade: at sunset, they stood out in rainbow colors and seemed to bloom, making the light of the gospel visible. For the first time, mosaic windows in the form of roses on cathedrals began to be installed in the 12th century.
Inside the temple, it’s quiet and cool, the noise and bustle of the big city, a lot of fresh flowers, do not reach here. The walls are decorated with excellent paintings. Huge space inspires awe and awe.
The meaning of the cathedral today
Today it is the residence of Bishop Nha Trang and the Cathedral of the city, accommodating 600 people at the same time. It hosts daily services for the local Catholic population in Vietnamese, and on Sundays, services are held five times. Often there is a wedding procedure for local residents - then the church is elegantly decorated with bright balls.
For over 80 years, the beautiful Catholic Cathedral has adorned the center of Nha Trang. It can rightfully be called a historical and architectural monument of the city and one of the cultural and religious centers.
What is special about Nha Trang Cathedral
Gothic architecture deeply influenced Nha Trang Cathedral and inspired 3 distinct sections. Below is the door, the middle part is stained glass circular windows decorated with roses, and the upper part is the corridor and two belfries. The most unique features of the cathedral are the bronze bells hanging in the tower. These bells were made and installed by Bourdon Carillond, a well-known French bells company. The bell tower has a large clock on four sides, facing 4 directions.
The most famous in Nha Trang Cathedral is the Holy Place. Entering through the front door, tourists will come across a vast, airy space filled with light. The most striking characteristics of Gothic architecture are expressed in a wide curved dome pointing to the sky. Straight lines that are used as decorative patterns are harmonized, creating a modest but worthy beauty. In addition, in order to effectively use sunlight, various types of stained glass windows were designed on the arch doors and pink doors. All this has created beautiful and calming landscapes, smoothing out the inherent solemn atmosphere that is usually found in places of worship. In addition, the area of the sanctuary is an open colorful space, the images of the Saints in stained glass create dazzling beauty and elegance.
Nha Trang is full of sun and wind all year round. November to Christmas is the peak season for international tourists to the seaside city. Many people like to walk along the path through 53 steps leading directly to the large courtyard in front of the facade of the church. The mountain church has existed in Nha Trang for over 80 years. From afar, the cathedral resembles an ancient Roman castle. For parishioners of Nha Trang, the Cathedral plays a very important role in their life. They come here to pray and wish a gift in the pacifying silence of the cathedral. In addition, numerous young couples choose the cathedral for their wedding.
Nha Trang Cathedral is also a favorite place for tourists who travel around Nha Trang. In addition to the opportunity to admire the unique architectural works, tourists can immerse themselves in moments of comfort, tranquility, contemplating a dreamy coastal city. Thus, Nha Trang tourism is gradually becoming much more attractive to tourists.
How to get to the Nha Trang Cathedral
You can walk to the Cathedral and combine this route with a visit to Vin Mart or Long Sean Pagoda, or Lotte Mart, or Big C. You can take bus number 4 on your own, tell the conductor where you need it and they will tell you when to go.
Opening hours: Monday - Saturday 05:00 - 17:00, Sunday 04:30 - 20:00
The cathedral serves the local Catholic community; masses are held from 05:00 to 18:30 daily.
Address: 31 Thai Nguyen, Phuoc Tan, Nha Trang
Photo and description
Nha Trang Cathedral is the catholic cathedral of the city. It has many other names: the official is Quito Cathedral, the Vietnamese call it “Nyatonui” - a church on the mountain, it is also called “stone cathedral” or “ring cathedral”. And all this is about the largest Nha Trang church, as well as about the main Catholic cathedral of Vietnam.
The cathedral is located on a hill near the train station. Built during the French colonization for pilots and sailors of coastal military bases. To clear the area for the future temple, on the orders of his future abbot, a rock was blown up with the help of 500 minutes. On the site of the demolished mountain, a gently sloping surface of 4500 square meters was formed. m, on which the construction of the cathedral began in the autumn of 1928. It was conceived by a typically French architectural creation, without any local motifs. An impressive stone building with side naves and arched galleries adorns a 28-meter-high bell tower. There are three old bells donated by the French company Bordon. The outer part of the bell tower is crowned with a crucifix, and the clock is decorated. All the windows in the church are decorated with stained-glass windows; thanks to them, there is always sufficient lighting in the church during the day.
The main construction was completed in 1933. In the late eighties, the Catholic cemetery at the church had to be removed - in connection with the construction of the railway. All buried were exhumed, their ashes in urns were placed in a pseudo-stone wall along the western side of the temple. Around it are several sculptures of the Virgin Mary and stone slabs with images on biblical themes.
The Cathedral is operational; services are held there daily. The number of Catholic parishioners is impressive. The fact that the cathedral is located in Vietnam, recalls only a large number of incense used during the service.
Since 1960, the Catholic diocese in Nha Trang has been the main in Vietnam, and the Nha Trang Cathedral, respectively, is the main temple.
Photo of Nha Trang Catholic Cathedral
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