SAIGON NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral. The official name of Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon is Immaculate Conception Cathedral Basilica in English and Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saigon in French. This French-built cathedral is located at 1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1, Notre Dame Cathedral, in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. It is one of Saigon's oldest religious architectural masterpieces. When combined with other structures such as the Central Post Office, Reunification Palace, Opera House, and so on, Notre Dame Cathedral contributes to the creation of a unique architectural complex that serves as the icon of urban architecture in Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City.
Address: No.1 Cong xa Paris St, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Immediately after taking Saigon, the French built a church to serve as a place of worship for the army's Catholics. The original church was placed on today's Ngo Duc Ke Street, which is a historic Vietnamese temple that was abandoned owing to the war's devastation.
With a rising number of Christians, this initial church rapidly became tiny. Governor Louis Adolphe Bonard chose to construct a wooden church on the banks of the Charner Canal (Kinh Lon) in 1863. This waterway was eventually filled in and is now Nguyen Hue Street. Father Dominique Lefèbvre laid the first stone for this church, which was later named Saigon Cathedral.
J.Bourad, an architect, was chosen for a project blending Roman and Gothic elements. He also won the bid to construct this historic structure. The initial building site was suggested in three locations before being chosen for the Paris Commune Square. The church's front faces Southeast, towards Nguyen Du Street, while the rear faces the present Le Duan Street. The building took approximately three years to complete. Bishop Colombert formally celebrated the blessing and inauguration of Saigon Cathedral on April 11, 1880, with the involvement of Cochinchina Governor - Charles Le Myre de Vilers.
All building materials for the church, including cement, steel, tile, stained glass, bells, and so on, were sent from France. The buildings' exteriors, for example, were constructed entirely of red Marseille bricks that were neither plastered or cemented. However, it retains its original orange-red hue to this day. The Church was formerly known as the State Church since the French State contributed all building funds, amounting to 2,500,000 francs at the time.
In 1895, the church added two new bell towers, each of which stood 57.6 meters tall and housed six enormous copper bells. A 3.50m tall crucifix stands at the summit of the tower. From the ground to the top of the crucifix, the overall height is 60.50m.
Father Joseph Pham Van Thien, the governor of Saigon at the time, had a monument of the Mother of Peace made of white marble in 1958. The monument was created in Italy and sent by boat to Saigon in 1959. Following that, the Société d'Entreprises Company built a statue of Our Lady on a stone pedestal in front of the chapel that had been unoccupied since 1945.
Cardinal Aganian of Rome blessed the statue in the afternoon of February 17, 1959, at the conclusion of the National Congregation of the Holy Mother's ceremony. The Church was given the name Notre Dame Cathedral as a result of this occurrence. The Holy See granted permission for an anointment ceremony on December 5, 1959, transferring the Saigon Cathedral to the basilica. Since then, the cathedral has been known as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon.
The Holy See established Roman Catholic dioceses in Vietnam in 1960, with three archbishops in Hanoi, Hue, and Saigon. To this day, the church serves as the archbishop of Saigon's cathedral.
1. The Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is open from:
Monday to Saturday from 08.00 AM to 11.00 AM and from 14.00 PM to 16.00 PM.
If you want to go inside, use the sided gate, which is open every day, rather than the main entrance, which is only open on Sundays.
Many visitors who visit Notre Dame Cathedral would want to attend the mass but are unaware of the Notre Dame's exact mass schedule.
Please review this timetable; perhaps, you will select the mass frame that corresponds to your trip.
- Weekday Masses are held at 5.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m.
- Sunday Masses are held at 05.30 AM, 06.45 AM, 08.00 AM, 09.30 AM, 16.00 PM, 17.30 PM, and 18.30 PM. (The Sunday Mass begins at 9.30 a.m.)
2. There is no admission price to visit this location:
However, we recommend scheduling Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral excursions ahead of time to ensure your seat.
Vietnam Travel lists all Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral excursions.
3. Other Sightseeing:
- When visiting, please dress appropriately and avoid upsetting the worshipers.
- Do not use a flashlight inside the Cathedral. Other local sights of the Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon include:
- Central Post Office
- The Independence Palace
- People's Committee Building
- Ho Chi Minh's Book Street
- If you have time, please stop by Diamond Plaza, 30/4 Park, and have a cup of coffee while watching the locals go about their daily lives.
This is the most prestigious sector in HCM City, and most cafes and shops here are more costly than the rest of the country.
You may also sample a variety of delectable street dishes in the Cathedral neighborhood, including Banh Canh Cua, Banh Xeo, Banh My, Bun Rieu, and Bun Mam.
Notre Dame Cathedral Tour Guide Saigon Basilica:
Transportation to the Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon Basilica, located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, is easily accessible by public transportation.
Taxi or Xe om (motorbike taxi)
Personal motorcycles or car: The Central Post Office, Diamond Plaza, Hoa Binh Primary School, and Ho Chi Minh City Cultural House for Youth are all adjacent parking areas for visitors to the cathedral.
Transportation through public means: Bus routes 04, 120, 18, 30, 31, 36, and 93 go through the city and past the monument.
It will also be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for travelers to enjoy freshly double-decker buses for sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City.
Despite over 150 years of building and repair, Notre Dame Cathedral Vietnam has maintained its magnificent look and become one of the country's most spectacular French colonial architectural masterpieces. The castle-like Saigon Basilica is a must-see for tourists who come to marvel at its antique appeal and solemnity.
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