Regardless of your religious views, an architecturally beautiful place of worship must be on a travel itinerary when visiting a new city.
So if you are visiting the Vietnamese city of Nha Trang, then you must visit its cathedral.
Here are five things you should know about the beautiful Nha Trang Cathedral:
1.It is known by many different names.
While many call it Nha Trang Cathedral, its official name is the Christ the King Cathedral. It is the mother church of the Catholic Diocese of Nha Trang in central Vietnam.
The daily masses are held at 5am and 6.30pm.
Beside the Nha Trang Cathedral, the building is also known as the Stone Church or the Mountain Church by the locals.
2.The history of Nha Trang Cathedral
The Nha Trang parish was founded in 1886 by French missionaries. On Sept 3, 1928, the construction of the church began on a small hill named Hon Mot.
The French actually used 500 mines to level the ground, hence the hill on which the cathedral is currently located was higher than it is now.
It was built entirely of stone in the French Gothic style and featured beautiful stained glass windows by Priest Louis Vallet (1869 – 1945).
After Vallet died, he was buried at the foothills of the church.
The church was was consecrated under the title of ‘Christ the King’ on Easter day, 1930.
When the Diocese of Nha Trang was created in 1960, this church was chosen as its cathedral.
3.The features of Nha Trang Cathedral
With the capacity for 600 people, the building is one of the few French architectural remnants in the city.
One of the most interesting features of the cathedral is its three bells. Cast in France in 1789, the bells are still working to this day.
The inside of the cathedral is adorned with neon lights behind its crucifix, tabernacle and statue of Mother Mary.
Meanwhile, the outside of the church has statues of French saints such as St Joan of Arc and St John Vianney.
It also has statues depicting all the 14 stations of the Way of the Cross.
4.Foreign tourists can visit the Nha Trang Cathedral for a minimal entrance fee.
Before, tourists who wanted to visit the Nha Trang Cathedral needed to register one day or at least one hour before the church opened at 8am.
However, many foreign tourists failed to do so and were refused entry.
Now, foreign tourists can conveniently enter the church compound at VND10,000 per entry.
The money collected as entrance fees are used for funding the church’s preservation and conservation efforts.
Visitors can use public transportation such as taxi or book a ride on Grab to go there.
It is a perfect place in Nha Trang to admire French architecture as well as the view of the city.
Since the cathedral is a place of worship, always remember to explore the church with respect.
5.It is a popular spot for wedding photography.
Do not be surprised if you see couples posing for cameras in the church compound.
The cathedral is a famous spot for both foreign and local couples to take their wedding photography.
With its Gothic-style stone building and its high bell tower, it makes beautiful background to commemorate your union in a wedding photo.
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