Phat Diem Cathedral is a harmonious combination of traditional pagoda architecture of Vietnam mixed with the Gothic style of Christian architecture. It 's the center of Catholicism in north Vietnam and also a tourist site attracting foreign and domestic visitors.
Phat Diem Cathedral with Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Tam Coc - Bich Dong, Bai Dinh Pagoda, Trang An, Cuc Phuong is the attractive destination of Ninh Binh province. Phat Diem Cathedral is located at Phat Diem Town Kim Son district. From Hanoi, we can take the national highway 1A passing over Phu Ly, Ninh Binh province and then according to the Route No 10. It's 130km south of Hanoi, and 28km southeast of Ninh Binh Town.
It is also known as "Stone Church" , because everything in this church was made of stone:the ground, walls, columns, doors, etc.
That's a building of magnificent proportions. It has the Vietnamese architectural feature in the 19th century. It took 24 years to build this church from 1875 to 1898. And as its name suggests, it was completely built of stone and wood that are readily available in the mountain area of Ninh Binh.
Phat Diem Cathedral is a complex comprising of a lake, a cathedral, a stone church, Phuong Dinh (bell house) and three artificial grottoes.
This is a work bearing the traditional hallmark of Vietnamese communal house, designed and built by Vietnamese. That's a Vietnamese priest, known as Father Sau. Phat Diem Cathedral’s the design is a harmonious combination of traditional pagoda architecture of Vietnam mixed with the Gothic style of Christian architecture. The cathedral is unique for its Buddhist pagoda shape.
From the Route No 10 looking into the Phat Diem pagoda, tourists in Vietnam Tourism firstly see a large lake with area of 4 ha. In the middle of the lake, there is a small island with statue of Jesus Christ with 3 metres height, under it has the green bush, next to it is the Phuong Dinh (bell house).
Phuong Dinh is a structure of 25 meters in height, 17m in width, 24m in length with three floors. The cathedral was built by blue stones. In the second floor, a large drum is hung. In the third floor, there is a bell which has a height of 1.4 meters, weight of nearly 2 tons.The roof of the Phuong Dinh has five domes. The highest dome is in the middle of the third floor. Phat Diem cathedral’s roof is not high as the other churches’ roof. It's subtle with stone carvings on both sides of the walls.
The Cathedral is 74m in length, 21m in width and 15m in height. In the church, there are six ironwood columns of about 10 tons in weight per one. The inside of the church has many sophisticatedly carved reliefs. with chrysanthemum, bamboo , fir tree and apricot tree that symbolize four seasons in a year. Tourists in Vietnam Tourism can also see lion, flamboyant bird, deer...engravings.
Around Phat Diem Cathedral, there are a lot of beautiful stone caves and artificial mountains. Three caves were created by different sizes of rocks in the north of the Phat Diem cathedral. Lo Duc cave is the most beautiful one.
Through the war, Phat Diem Cathedral is still exist as a miracle. A bombing in 1972 flattened two of the side chapels and caused the cathedral to lean by some 20 degrees, the only obvious trace of the bombing is the destruction of some stone carvings.
Phat Diem Cathedral is a pride of many local people with artistic design and skillful technique. Speacially, it's really sparkling every Christmas Eve with the attention by thousands people. Discover beauty of the19th century Vietnamese architecture of Phat Diem Cathedral with Vietnam travel.