Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
Considered the economic and cutural center of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City attracts a large number of visitors annually. Coming to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the visitors not only have the chance to enjoy the active pace of life here, but also have the chance to explore the peaceful spaces in this city. Situated right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the most famous landmarks as well as the core Cathedral of this bustling city. Notre-Dame Cathedral, or Notre-Dame Basilica to be exact, is a famous age-long cathedral in Southern of Vietnam. The cathedral is a magnificent building located right at the Paris Square in Ho Chi Minh City downtown, attracting not only Catholics but also most tourists for its neo-Romanesque style architecture and a sacred atmosphere.
Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral was constructed at the end of the 19th century by the French, reaching a height of up to 60 meters. Its design, apart from the intention to create a religious looking, aims at showing the influence of
the French civilization and Christianity over Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).
At the time the cathedral was built, the Notre-Dame was the most beautiful cathedral of this kind among all French colonies. All of the materials used in this building were imported from France. For example, the red bricks used to construct the outside walls are from Marseille. They still retain their bright and lively red color until today, making the cathedral one of the most attractive places in Ho Chi Minh City.
Contrary to many people’s belief, the two bell towers that we see today have only been added in 1895. Each with the
height of 60.5 meters and 6 bronze bells, the two towers remind us of the Notre-dame de Paris, the most well-known cathedral in the world. In front of the cathedral stands a Virgin Mary statue, which is said to have been shed tears in 2005, causing thousands of people to stop around the Basilica.
Notre Dame Cathedral today is not only a religious place but also ideal destination for local people and tourists alike to hang out. It also happens to be a wonderful background for Vietnamese movie stars, singers, models, and couples to take photographs or record movies. If you need to attend masses during your visit in Saigon, you can absolutely do so by visiting the basilica as no admission fee is required.