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Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral

posted Oct 20, 2011, 2:57 AM by Dong Travel   [ updated Oct 20, 2011, 2:58 AM by Mickey Dong Hoang Thinh ]
Situated right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral (translated as “Nhà thờ Đức Bà Sài Gòn) represents both the most famous landmark and the religious core of the City.

Notre-Dame Cathedral, or Notre-Dame Basilica to be exact, is a famous ancient cathedral in Southern Vietnam. The magnificent building, located in the Paris Square in downtown HCM City, attracts not only Catholics but also many tourists coming to experience its captivating neo-Romanesque style architecture and sacred atmosphere.

Established by French colonists, the cathedral was constructed between 1877 and 1880. It has two bell towers, reaching a height of 57.6 metres, each with six bronze bells with a total weight of 28.85 metric tonnes. The crosses perched on the top of each tower measure an impressive 3.5 m high, 2 m wide, and 600 kg in weight. The total height of the cathedral to the top of the crosses is 60.5 m.

Following the French conquest of Cochinchina and Saigon, the Roman Catholic Church established a community and religious services for French colonialists.

During its construction, all its red bricks were imported from Marseilles, while the coloured glass windows were made in France’s Chartres Province. Many original tiles are carved with the words Guichard Carvin, Marseille St André France, perhaps stating the locality where the tiles were produced. More recent tiles are carved with the words “Wang-Tai Saigon.”, representing the replacements that have since been made in Saigon after the cathedral was damaged during war.

56 glass squares supplied by the Lorin firm of Chartres province in France adorn the building’s exterior, while a statue of the Virgin Mary graces the surroundings.

The dazzling neo-Romanesque architecture and soaring 57.6m-high square towers tipped with iron spires dominate the City’s sky line, creating a beautiful religious site.
Source: DTIN