ST. JOSEPH’S CATHEDRAL
Being a major Buddhist country, St. Joseph’s Cathedral not only serves the few Catholics in Vietnam but is also a reminder of its French colonial past.
According to history, the land that it currently stands is where the Bao Thien Pagoda, a sacred Buddhist site, stood but because of the battle between Vietnam and France, the pagoda was destroyed and the land was cleared and transferred to the French.
St. Joseph’s Cathedral is the oldest church in Hanoi being constructed in 1884 and opened in 1886. One of the first infrastructures built by the French and has an architectural style resembling the Notre Dame de Paris. The cathedral was built in a Neo-Gothic Style with exterior walls made of granite stone slabs.
We went to the cathedral via Grab and upon seeing it, I was astonished by its color and its resemblance to Notre Dame. A catholic church is not new to me but there is something different about the look of this cathedral. When I entered the cathedral I also felt that I was in Europe. It was a weird feeling but I was grateful to enter the cathedral with me being the only one there. It was very solemn. I prayed and got curious about its history.
By the way, outside the church, there is a statue of Mother Mary so if you are a devout Catholic and have Marian Devotions visiting St. Joseph’s Cathedral should not be off your list when you visit Hanoi, Vietnam.
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TRAVEL GUIDE & TIPS
HOW TO GET THERE:
a. BY WALKING:
- If you stay in accommodations around Hoan Kiem Lake, you can walk to Hang Trong Street and then go ahead to Nha Tho Street until reaching Nha Chung Street. You will easily find Saint Joseph Cathedral.
b. CAR RENTAL:
c. TRAVEL TOURS (include round-trip transfers, lunch, and tour guides):
- General Admission: Free
- ACCOMMODATIONS IN HANOI
- Madelise Palace Hotel & Spa
- Hanoi Graceful Hotel
- Ha Noi Memory Central Hotel & Spa
- Amira Hotel Hanoi
- Le Chanvre Hotel & Spa
CHECK OUT THESE DISCOUNTED/PROMO RATES FROM KLOOK:
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- OPEN HOURS: 8:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M., 2:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. (From Mondays to Saturdays); 7:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M., 3:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. (Sundays)
- DRESS CODE: Men must wear long pants, women must cover their legs just above the knee, and avoid revealing clothes.
- Always observe respect. This is not only a religious site but also a cultural heritage.
- Daily masses are conducted in the cathedral mostly in Vietnamese. There are French and English masses on Sundays.
- There are a lot of cafes and restaurants surrounding St Joseph’s Cathedral, you can check them out and try Vietnamese cuisine and coffee.