Hanoi Cathedral (St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi)


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St. Joseph’s Cathedral is a church on Nha Tho Street in the Hoan Kiem District of Hanoi, Vietnam. The late 19th-century Gothic Revival (Neo-Gothic style) church serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi to nearly 4 million Catholics in the country.

Construction began in 1886, with the architectural style described as resembling Notre Dame de Paris. The church was one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina when it opened in December 1886. It is the oldest church in Hanoi. Building materials of the church are terracotta tiles, walls plastered with  mulch. The Cathedral is 64.5 m long, 20.5 meters wide and 31.5 meters high with two massive stone pillars at four corners. At the top has a stone crucifix.

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In the internal lobby of the church, there is a large door, two small doors. The doors and windows are all designed as the art Gothique, combined with the rolling pointed doors is Holy paintings made in tall stained glass that create beautiful and harmonious sources of natural light inside the church. The Saint’s palace is decorated in traditional folk art and sophisticatedly carved. At main room, it has a terracotta statue of St. Joseph over 2m high.

The Church also has a set of west bell, including four small bells and one big bell. Especially the big clock mounted in the front of the church. The clock’s operation  is linked with 5 bells hanging on two towers.

In front of Center Square has a statue of Virgin Mary and a cave behind.

The Hanoi Cathedral looks very quaint and mossy from the outside with the walls of time. But when stepping through the door, visitors will witness a modern architectural work and it seems not to change with time.

Address: Church street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi city

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