Photo of the week – Take a rest

21 Mar

photo: Trà

This tourist took a rest in Saigon central cathedral or Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica.

The cathedral is one of the most attractive place for tourist in Saigon by its timeless beauty, historic value and eventful location. It was constructed between 1863 and 1880 by French colonists and in a revised Roman style mixed with Gothic elements. The design was the most beautiful one in a French colony at that time. All building materials were imported from France. The outside wall of the cathedral was built with bricks from Marseille. Although the contractor did not use coated concrete, these bricks have retained their bright red color until today.

In the flower garden in front of the cathedral, there was a bronze statue of Pigneau de Behaine (also called Bishop of Adran) leading Prince Cảnh, the son of Emperor Gia Long by his right hand. The statue was made in France. In 1945, the statue was removed, but the foundation remains.

In 1959, Bishop Joseph Pham Van Thien, whose jurisdiction included Saigon parish, attended the Holy MotherCongress held in Vaticanand ordered a Peaceful Notre Dame statue made with granite in Rome. When the statue arrived in Saigon on 16 February 1959, Bishop Pham Van Thien held a ceremony to install the statue on the empty base and presented the title of “Regina Pacis”. It was the same bishop who wrote the prayers “Notre-Dame bless the peace to Vietnam”. The next day, Cardinal Aganianian came from Rome to chair the closing ceremony of the Holy Mother Congress and solemnly chaired the ceremony for the statue, thus the cathedral was then-on called Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Notre Dame today is not only a religious place but also ideal area that people can come, take photos and hang out. Many Vietnamese couples of brides and bridegrooms come here everyday to take photos and make videos for their album. This is also a wonderful background for many movie stars, singers, models to take photos, and record movies. Visitors can attend mass held three times on weekdays and six times on Sundays. No admission is charged in this cathedral……donations are appreciated.

by Trà

SaigonStay – All the best a local friend can give you!

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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Living in Saigon


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