Notre Dame Cathedral of Sai Gon


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Exploring Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral: A Journey Through Time and Beauty

Immerse yourself in the historical aura as you close your eyes and envision the enchanting beauty of Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral. This captivating edifice, nestled in the heart of District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, transports you to an era of romantic allure. With a legacy rooted in French colonial architecture, the cathedral stands as a beacon of elegance. Its charm radiating from both its exterior and the sanctuary concealed within.

Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, a harmonious blend of history and architectural splendor, beckons to travelers seeking to unveil the treasures of Ho Chi Minh City. Its regal grace and unique design mark it as a definitive cultural emblem of Saigon. Time has bestowed upon it a patina of antiquity, enhancing its architectural grandeur, and weaving an ageless spell that captivates all who tread upon its hallowed ground.

Notre Dame Cathedral of Sai Gon3

A Symbolic Marvel: Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral

Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, known also as the Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception, graces District 1, the beating heart of Ho Chi Minh City. Bearing the modest title “Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral,” this destination stands as an irresistible draw for wanderers traversing this splendid metropolis.

Rooted in the 19th century, the cathedral finds its seat in Paris Commune Square within Ben Nghe Ward. Its dimensions, stretching 91 meters in length and 35.5 meters in width, exude magnificence and refined craftsmanship. The central roof soars to a height of around 21 meters, flanked by two bell towers ascending nearly 57 meters each. This harmonious interplay creates a compelling portrait of French colonial architecture, a testament to the era’s cultural fusion.

A Testament of Faith and Beauty

South Vietnam Tour Package Notre Dame Cathedral

Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece borne from history and faith, stands as a testament to the city’s profound narrative. Conceived in 1877 and brought to life by the guidance of architect J. Bourad, this structure emerged in 1880 as a symbol of unity.

April 11, 1880 marked a momentous occasion, as the dedication and consecration ceremony took place under the watchful gaze of Bishop Colombert, attended by the Governor of Cochinchina, Le Myre de Vilers. Notably, the entire funding for the project, totaling 2,500,000 French francs at the time, was provided by the Cochinchina Governorate. In its nascent stage, it bore the name “State Cathedral,” overseen by the French authorities.

However, the passage of time saw the cathedral christened Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral. Formally designated as the “Immaculate Conception Cathedral Basilica”. And granted the honorific “Basilica” in 1962. Since then, it has transcended its role as an architectural marvel, becoming a cultural beacon. And a testament of faith, a magnet for those yearning to discover its rich history.

A Symphony of Architecture: Unique Features of Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral of Sai Gon5

For over a century, Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral has maintained its magnetic allure, attracting a multitude of visitors to its resplendent embrace. Its architectural intricacies beckon with an array of distinctive features:

  1. The Cathedral’s Interior Nave: Crafted to endure a load tenfold that of the entire structure, the interior nave is a marvel to behold. It comprises a main nave, flanked by two side aisles, and adorned with two rows of pews. Stretching 93 meters in length, with a maximum width of 35 meters and a vaulted roof soaring to 21 meters, this sanctuary accommodates up to 1,200 attendees during religious ceremonies.
  2. Bell Towers: The cathedral’s soul resides within its bell towers. Originally standing at 36.6 meters sans roofs, they gained additional steeple-like structures in 1895, reaching a towering 57 meters. Adorned with six musical note-bearing bells each, these towers exude intricate patterns, a testament to their artistic grace.
  3. Altar Area: A testament to artistic finesse, the altar area boasts solid marble altars. The space is adorned with 56 vivid stained glass windows, meticulously arranged to create an aura of solemnity, blending Roman and Gothic influences in a harmonious union.
  4. Exterior Park Area: Surrounding the cathedral’s façade, the park area entices visitors, particularly the younger crowd, to bask in its tranquility. At its core, the statue of Our Lady of Peace stands tall, sculpted by G. Ciocchetti in 1959. Fashioned from white Carrara marble from Italy, this 4.6-meter marvel commands attention.
  5. Bronze Statue of Pigneau de Béhaine: Forged in 1903 by the French, this bronze statue pays homage to Bishop Pigneau de Béhaine, or Bishop Ba Da. A figure of harmony between Catholicism and the Nguyen dynasty, it stands atop a granite pedestal, a poignant symbol of a bygone era.
  6. Statue of Our Lady of Peace: A reincarnation of serenity, the statue of Our Lady of Peace, hewn from Carrara marble, was reintroduced in 1958. The sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary with Earth in her left hand, surmounted by a crucifix, her gaze directed heavenward, embodying prayers for the nation’s tranquility.

Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral’s Opening Hours and Mass Schedule

The cathedral extends its embrace to all, welcoming visitors and locals alike with open doors and open hearts.

Opening Hours: Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral opens its doors daily for unhurried exploration, beckoning both tourists and residents without any charge.

Weekday Mass Times:

  • Monday to Saturday: Two daily Masses at 5:30 AM and 5:30 PM.

Sunday Mass Times:

  • Sunday offers a procession of seven Masses: 5:30 AM, 6:45 AM, 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM (English Mass), 4:00 PM, 5:30 PM, and 6:30 PM.

Delve into Saigon’s Culinary Tapestry

After savoring the cathedral’s beauty, extend your journey into the tapestry of flavors that Saigon offers. Nearby eateries tantalize with delectable delights:

  1. Saigon Coffee: Quench your thirst with the renowned Vietnamese iced milk coffee, “Cà phê sữa đá Bác” – an invigorating pleasure.
  2. Street Food Delights: Embark on a culinary adventure with savory treasures like crab soup (súp cua), mini pancakes (bánh căn). Especially noodle soup (hủ tiếu), mixed rice paper salad (bánh tráng trộn). Also fried dough with eggs (bột chiên), and more.

Discover Saigon’s Treasures: Nearby Attractions

ben thanh market1

Elevate your journey by venturing to nearby landmarks that punctuate Saigon’s landscape:

  1. Independence Palace (Dinh Độc Lập): Witness history at this presidential abode, a silent witness to Vietnam’s past.
  2. Turtle Lake (Hồ Con Rùa): A vibrant hangout, where a serene lake beckons surrounded by vibrant eateries and cafes.
  3. Vietnam History Museum (Bảo tàng Lịch sử Việt Nam): Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s rich narrative, meticulously woven through time.
  4. Bitexco Financial Tower: Ascend to heights of splendor for panoramic views of the city’s captivating skyline.
  5. “Cloud-Checking” at Landmark 81: Gaze upon the city from Landmark 81’s observation deck, a pinnacle of Southeast Asian heights.
  6. Nguyen Hue Walking Street (Phố đi bộ Nguyễn Huệ): Dance amidst street performances and urban vivacity on this pedestrian haven.
  7. Ben Thanh Market (Chợ Bến Thành): Engage with local culture as you explore this bustling market, a treasure trove of handicrafts and gastronomic delights.

Embark on an unforgettable journey with us at Origin Travel. And immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral. Join our Sai Gon City Tour to experience the rich tapestry of history, faith, and architectural brilliance. Step inside its sacred halls, feel the resonance of grace, and witness the unfolding cityscape that reveals the tales of a dynamic and storied metropolis. Seize this moment to explore and be captivated – book your adventure today.

Discover The Hidden Charm Of Northern Vietnam

This hiking and sightseeing trip will offer you the peaceful and attractive spots in Northern mountainous Vietnam. Amazing Mu Cang Chai terrace fields on hillside as picturesque at village La Pan Tan, Mam Xoi hill, etc to Mai Chau peaceful valley and Halong on land of Trang An grottos. It will not be a perfect trip if you don’t visit Lan Ha Bay less touristic at beautiful limestone and islands.
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