St Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi or Hanoi Cathedral is located at No.40 Nha Chung Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District, about some meters from the Hoan Kiem Lake. This over 100-year cathedral was built by French colonists in the 20th century in Medieval Gothic architecture. Over the years, this establishment has become one of the most attractive tourist attractions in Hanoi & a popular pilgrimage place for local & foreign Catholics.
I - History of the St Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi
An old French-style building in Hanoi - Source: Kenh14
The cathedral was officially erected in 1884 and its campus was built on the foundation of the old Bao Thien pagoda and Bao Thien tower. However, due to funding issues, it was not until 1886 that the construction cost of about 200,000 French francs was mobilized completely. The Cathedral was inaugurated on the Christmas of 1887 and named the St.Joseph Cathedral Hanoi.
II - Architecture highlights of the St Joseph's Cathedral Hanoi
The cathedral is designed in medieval Gothic architecture which is relatively similar to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. On the other hand, there is an intersection between Eastern & Western architectural elements.
The inside look - Source: Internet
The outside marks
Saint Joseph Cathedral Hanoi has a length of 64.5m, a width of 20.5m with a design of 3 parts including the two 31.5m high bell towers and a low block in the middle. At the top of the middle tower is a stone cross, under the cross is a big clock.
In front of the Cathedral, a statue of Mother Maria made of copper, surrounded by iron fences and flowers & trees. Bricks and plastered are the main materials for creating the walls. Over the years & after many ups and downs, the white walls are faded and covered by moss creating an ancient color & space.
The inside marks
In the hall of the St Joseph Vietnamese Catholic Church, there is a large doomed gate, two small gates on either side of the tower. The doors and all the colorful glass windows are pointed with Gothic art. On the walls, the religious paintings & Jesus Christ’s pictures mark the point. The sanctuary is decorated according to Vietnamese traditional folk art, carved with unique and sophisticated wooden patterns in red & yellow tones. At the center of the main court is a 2m high St.Joseph’s terracotta statue.
III - Good to know before visiting the Saint Joseph Cathedral of Hanoi
The outside look - Source: Trip
1 - How to get to the Hanoi Cathedral?
The Cathedral is located on the edge of Hanoi Old Quarter and some meters from Hoan Kiem Lake. Getting to the Cathedral is so easy. An ideal schedule might be: strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake, visiting Ngoc Son Temple, and then moving on to visit the Cathedral.
2 - St Joseph Cathedral Hanoi mass schedule
There is no entrance fee to the Cathedral. However, you can only visit inside to admire the beauty of the magnificent interiors during the ceremonial practice & mass schedule.
- Weekdays: 5:30 am and 6:15 pm
+ Saturday: 6pm
+ Sunday: 5am, 7am, 9am, 11am, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm
- A special ceremony: on 19th March.
The best time to visit the St Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi is on weekends, on Christmas occasions, or special ceremonies of Catholicism.
Dress code: Dress politely and casually for visiting outside
Photo taking & video making are acceptable
3 - Restaurants near St Joseph Cathedral Hanoi
Food around the church - Source: Internet
Having a prime location in the center of Hanoi Capital so there are abundant tasty foods and outstanding restaurants near the Cathedral. Having a cup of iced tea or iced lemon tea in front of the church ($0.1 - 0.6) is one of the most worth-trying experiences. Sitting on a small plastic chair, enjoying a Vietnamese famous drink, and admiring the beauty of the over 100-year Church facade is a great experience.
Although St Joseph's Cathedral Hanoi is a historic cultural and spiritual relic, it has also become a familiar attraction for many domestic and foreign tourists. This place has fully preserved the architectural beauty, historical value, and religious value of Hanoi.
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