Attraction Notre Dame Cathedral Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Published on: 18-02-2016
|1 hours 30 mins|
|05:30 AM - 05:00 PM|
People watching (street)
Notre Dame Cathedral is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Notre Dame Cathedral is special ?
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City is an easy place to escape the maniacal buzz of motorbikes for a few minutes. Constructed by the French in the 1800s, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City appears strangely out of place with its Gothic and Roman-style architecture. Twin towers reaching to 190 feet capture the interest of people strolling by. The Notre Dame Cathedral is the iconic landmark in HCM where tourists will stop by for a visit. This attraction reflects the country's long history and linkage to France and is a beautiful Catholic Church building though its a much smaller version to those in France. The architectural design and structure were impressive! This place is also popular for visitors for praying and photography session. Furthermore, there were tons of delicious local street foods around, college kids come to hang out and have coffee, couples take their wedding photos, and an endless stream of motorbikes and cars pass along the busy streets, making this a number one choice for a little city tour. If you actually want to attend a service or go inside you will have to time your visit well. The outside gates are often locked; the only English language service is on Sunday at 9.30am, which visitors are more than welcome to attend. If you don't want to attend the service you can still enter during this time and quietly take photos from the back of the church, where there is a fenced of area for visitors and photographers. The only drawback was very limited access area, just less than 5 meters inside the entrance. If you want to take beautiful photos , Lotteria restaurant inside the nearby Diamond Plaza gives you better view. Nearby there is NYDC and Coffee Bean. You can take a break, have coffee there while still enjoying the view of this lovely cathedral from afar.
What to explore at Notre Dame Cathedral?
The Two Towers
Measuring 200ft in height, these towers provide some of the best viewing points in Paris. At the summit of 387 steps, it’s not only worth the climb for the panorama over Paris, but also to admire the stone gargoyles crouching on its ledge.
Gargoyles and Chimera
The iconic gargoyles and chimera that adorn the Notre Dame were built in the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc. Now, they are some of the most famous things about the cathedral, however, the original purpose of the gargoyles was for the drainage system. Because they extend so far out of the wall, they were built into the ends of the gutters, with big round holes as mouths, to drain water away from the sides of the building preventing water damage. The chimera, on the other hand, were purely decorative and sit on a ledge surveying the people of Paris below.
Notre Dame Cathedral has 10 bells, from Emmanuel to Marie, Gabriel and Étienne, ranging from 13,271kg to 782kg. The biggest and oldest, Emmanuel sits in the southern tower and has been a part of the building since 1681. Emmanuel rings on the hour, every hour and for special occasions and celebrations. Historically, in 1944, Emmanuel was rung in celebration and triumph by French troops and allies to announce to the city that it was on its way to liberation.
The Great Organ was installed in the 13th century and has five keyboards, 190 ties and 8000 pipes. Unsurprisingly, it’s the largest organ in France and the most famous organ in the world and has undergone countless restorations and improvements. It’s still used to this day in Sunday services, drawing in international organists to perform, as well.
How to get to Notre Dame Cathedral?
To get to Notre Dame Cathedral, take Bus number 6 towards, get off at 37 Nguyen Thi Mihn Kai, and walk 8 minutes. Or, Take Bus number 36, get off at 1 Cong xa Paris, and walk 3 minutes
- Calm & Peaceful Cathedral
- Mass in Vietnamese
- Worth a visit for sure
- Beautiful Roman Cathedral Landmark in the heart of Saigon
- Great centre to start from
Notre Dame Cathedral Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tips for you
Beautiful cathedral from the outside. Unfortunately it was closed and we were unable to visit inside so remember to check out opening times before your visit. The French architecture does, at first, seem out of place in Vietnam if you don't know it's history so it's a great prompt to learn. The view of the cathedral from the park opposite is lovely so its worth braving the busy road to get there. It's a shame that it appears to be a favourite spot for street sellers and beggars.
One of the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever seen. Not to mention its sacredness and lovely interior.