Major churches for Xmas celebration in Hanoi, HCM City

Christmas is around the corner and preparations are underway at churches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It seems everyone, Christian or not, is ready to celebrate. A tour of the churches by Vietnam Net online newspaper.
Christmas is around the corner and preparations are underway at churches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It seems everyone, Christian or not, is ready to celebrate. A tour of the churches by Vietnam Net online newspaper.

* Hanoi

- Hanoi Cathedral

The church is located in the city's heart. It was built on the foundation of Bao Thien - the famous ancient tower of Thang Long in the Ly Dynasty (11th-12th centuries).

Also called the Church of St. Giuse (Saint Joseph), the largest cathedral in Hanoi was opened at Christmas 1887, after two years of construction in the same architecture with the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. This is the place of the Catholic solemnities and the procession of St. Joseph of the Hanoi Diocese on March 19 each year.

- Ham Long Church

This is a church of the Roman Catholic Church, of the Archdiocese of Hanoi, Vietnam. It is a place for the religious life of Hanoi parishioners and the major church of Ham Long parish.

The work was designed by a Vietnamese architect. The 17m-high church was completed in December 1934. The columns and altars are decorated with rope motifs like those on the tunic of the Francis order. The church’s patron saint is St. Anthony of Padua.

Ham Long Church, facing Ham Long and Ngo Thi Nham streets, is considered one of the most beautiful in Hanoi.

- Cua Bac Cathedral

Cua Bac Cathedral, one of the most beautiful churches in Hanoi, is located at No. 56 Phan Dinh Phung Street, Ba Dinh District. It was built at the northern gate (Cua Bac) of the Thang Long citadel, so it is also named Cua Bac Church, in 1931-1932 (some documents said that it was built in 1927 under the French rule) by a French priest cum architect, combining the Asian – European style. It does not follow the rules of symmetry, with a high bell tower on the right and in balance with the central dome.

The Cua Bac Cathedral is not only a religious address but also an architectural work with many unique features.

- Thinh Liet Church

It is also known as the Lang Tam Church. The church’s name is related to the Bui family in Thinh Liet village. This is a famous family that contributed many important figures for the Vietnamese dynasties from the early 15th century to the early 20th century, as well as many famous writers for Vietnam during the five centuries. King Le Hien Tong granted this family with a horizontal lacquered board with four letters "Son Nam Vong Toc" (A big family in Son Nam).

The church was built on the ground of the family temple of the Bui family.

- Phung Khoang Church

The church is located in the village of Phung Khoang in Trung Van commune, Tu Liem district, Hanoi, close to the Hanoi - Ha Dong road, about 10 km from the city' heart.

The space here is typical for a peaceful rural Vietnam. The church was built in 1910, in French neoclassical architecture.

* Ho Chi Minh City

The churches in Saigon were mostly built in the latter half of the 19th century, in the French-styled architecture combining with the Roman and Gothic styles of the medieval Europe. Some churches were built as an emotional support for the French government and some others were constructed to meet the spiritual needs of indigenous believers.

- Notre Dame Cathedral

This is the largest church in the city and was completed in 1880. It is also known as the State church because it was built by the French colonial government. The church was later transferred to the Saigon diocese.

In the past, the Notre Dame Cathedral was the largest church among those built by the French in its colonies. It was built from Marseille bricks, colorful glass and steel frames from France and green stone from Bien Hoa, Dong Nai province. The Roman-styled doorways are reminiscent of the great cathedrals in Paris, Chartres or Reim in France.

The Notre Dame Cathedral has absolutely no room for candles because it has been fully illuminated by electric lights since its inauguration in 1880.

The construction of this work started on October 7, 1877, and it was inaugurated on April 11, 1880. The church was designed in France, built by a French engineer named Bourad.

- Tan Dinh Church

The Tan Dinh Church is smaller and was built for the Vietnamese parish. It is typical for the blend of architectural styles of French churches, which was built and expanded in several stages.

Inaugurated on December 16, 1876, Tan Dinh Church is one of the religious buildings that were built early in Saigon. Located on a bustling street, Tan Dinh Church has beautiful architecture from the arches to the finely carved details.

- Huyen Sy Church

The church imitates the style of small churches in France. This is one of a few churches that used Bien Hoa granite in the façade, the base and the main columns. The stone is very hard to carve patterns but it shows wealth.

There are tombs and statues of Mr. Huyen Sy and his wife in the church. Huyen Sy was the richest man in Saigon at that time who built this church, named after him.

- Cha Tam Church

The Cha Tam Church or Francis Xavier Church in Cho Lon is decorated with horizontal lacquered boards and parallel sentences inside, like Chinese temples.

On December 3, 1900, at the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, Saigon Bishop Mossard placed the first stone for the church built for the Chinese in Saigon.

The church was inaugurated on January 10, 1902. After that, parish Tam Asson built a school, a kindergarten, a boarding house, and houses for rent in the church.

In 1934, Father Tam died and he was buried at the entrance wall of the church. Therefore, the church is often called Cha Tam (Father Tam) Church.

In 1990, the church steeple and the sanctuary were refurbished.

- Cho Quan Church

The Cho Quan Church also has the Gothic-style architecture. It was built over 100 years ago in Cho Lon area.

Cho Quan is one of the oldest parishes of the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City. The first chapel was built in this area in 1674 by parishioners from the northern and central regions.

After several renovation, in 1887 Father Nicola Ham built the new church. This work was inaugurated in the New Year 1896.-VNA

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