Dalat’s Cathedrals

Dalat Cathedral is one of the typical and the oldest architectures of Dalat.
This is the largest church in the Dalat city. In addition, it has the folk name as “Con Ga” church because on top of the bell tower there is a big chicken statue.

The church was built from 1931 to 1942, 65 m in length, 14 m in width and 47m in height. From the church’s bell tower, tourists can see many places in the city. The upper part of wall has 70 color glass sheets.

On Christmas every year, many people gathered to attend the ceremony.  Besides, there are many smaller churches. The Domaine de Marie (Lanh Dia Duc Ba) and Cam Ly church bring their own specific characteristics.

Cam Ly church

Cam Ly church or “Mountain church” is a church of the Catholic Church of Vietnam belonging to  Dalat city, Lam Dong province. The church serves mainly for ethnic minorities. Unlike most Catholic churches, Cam Ly church has no cross on the roof, it was built by stone and wood with unique architecture style of the hollow of minority.

The Church was built by Boutary Reverend, the French, and Nguyen Thanh Ho. The works started in late 1959 and completed eight years later. Cam Ly church has a unique architectural style of the hollow of the central highlands. In nearly 100 Catholic buildings appeared in Dalat from the 1920s to the 1960s, Cam Ly church was built specifically for the ethnic minorities, so it brings the unique shades.

In front of the church’s main gate church are two iconic tiger and phoenix – familiar animals in the sense of ethnic minorities. Tiger symbolizes the power and the phoenix represents the wisedom. The cathedral interior also has many other animal pictures show their personalities such as the clarity of the deer, the friendly of birds and fish, etc. In particular, at the foot of the cross, three-headed buffalos are hung. In the Central Highlands, buffalos are often used as objects to “communicate” with their Yang by the ethnic minority, to express their devotion to the God.

The church’s architecture was made as stylized from the traditional roof of the Central Highlands ethnic minority people, there is harmony between architecture of the West and ethnic minorities. Church’s ground covers an area of 324sqm, 1 / 3 of which is used for the sanctuary area, and 2 / 3 of which is the remaining place for the faithful.

The wall is built by the Green stone, the pine has plant two sides so the weather is very cool even including the summer months.  Thus, even at noon or afternoon, in winter or in summer, you always feel comfortable in the church. That is one particularly unique property of the church Cam Ly.

The glass windows are brought from overseas to Vietnam. On the roof of the church, Trinity stars are replaced by the three big stars combined by color glass triangle. Statue of Christ on the Cross with three bulls’ heads are arranged from large to small size represented the ethnic offerings for their sacrifice Yang.

Although it was built in the middle of the 20th century Cam Ly church owned ancient statues over hundred years. Remaining two subjects: Marian statue is inside the church carved in France since the 19th century (1875), Black statute has age equivalently. You will discover fully the church when visiting the church.

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