Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral, which is regarded as the hugest construction in Vietnam is located in District one, Ho Chi Minh City. The cathedral was built by the Bournard- a French architect. From the 1863 to the 1880, the cathedral was built with the two bell towers. It has the height over 58 meters (190 feet). The cost for this construction is up to 2.500.000 francs. The church was built as the Roma Pha Gotic’s form.  The bricks to build the cathedral were imported from the French, so the quality is the best. The building has the height of 91 meters and width of 35.5m, with the two bell towers. When coming there, tourists will be impressed by the height of the towers (36.6 meters). A series with six bells has total weight 23,850 kg. It is regarded as the most outstanding in the Saigon.

The church is quite large, it can contain 1,200 people. The 40-meter tall twin spires crowned with iron squires will surely impress you.  There are more than 20 small altars with the small statues made by white stone.

56 stained glass windows with the characters or evens in the bible were decorated on the wall with 31 big roses, too. But unfortunately, these windows were lost in World War II. Those fascinating windows have never been restored.

From the main altar, tourists will see a huge wood wall named “ Gac Dan” in Vietnamese name. The wall is the “tube organ” one of the oldest musical instrument in Vietnam. It was made by the professional foreigner. It has sweet sound, attracting every one.

Two sides of the “Gac Dan” is space called “gac chuong”. There is a staircase. In the middle of the staircase, there is tiny door. The Notre Dame” Cathedral’s clock is right here, its height is about 2.5 m, length is 3 m and width is over 1m.

“Gac chuong” has six bells. The two bells on the right named la and do. The other bells on the left are called sol, si, mi and re.

The three biggest bells are sol, their weights are 8,745 kg, si’s weight is 3.150 and re is 2,194. The total weight of six bells amounts to 30 ton. They were casted in the French in 1879. The sound of the bells has the specific tones; people are impressed by their sound.


Firstly, the “ gac chuong” did not  have the roof. In 1885, the roof was added by the architecture Gardes. The church’s bells are controlled by the electricity.  However, when starting the three big bells must use legs to start as they are too heavy. The sound of the six bells can go far about 10km.

Many foreigner tourists visited here daily. The church celebrated 125 years of its founding in 2005. The church is also popular for its New Year and Christmas celebrations.

The cathedral remains open from 9:30 am to 11 am for the Sunday Mass. You can visit anytime, but it was closed during lunchtime, so you won’t be able to get into the cathedral around midday. At 9: 30 am Sunday, Masses takes place in Vietnamese and English. Visiting the church tourists are free admitted. However, donations are appreciated.

Coming to Ho Chi Minh City, tourists should not miss the chance to visit one of the most famous destinations – Notre Dame Cathedral, the catholic center of Vietnam.

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