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Assumption Cathedral, Bangkok Overview

The striking red structure of Assumption Cathedral in the heart of Thailand is one of the few 200 plus years old churches in Bangkok. The cathedral is considered as a quaint legacy of the French Community, it’s as though the French left a little part of old Europe back in Bangkok. The church accounts as a prominent red brick rectangular structure surrounded by white buildings. It accounts as one of the top historic places in Bangkok for its amusing architectural style that is uncommon in today’s world. It has been well very preserved and maintained for the worshippers.  

Tourists see the Assumption Cathedral as a departure from the domed belfries and high steeples of churches like Santa Cruz Church and the Holy Rosary Church of the 18th century. In case you have grown bored of the Bangkok skyscrapers and are longing to see the other side of this beautiful city then visiting the Assumption Cathedral to appreciate its architectural splendour is a must.

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Assumption Cathedral

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Assumption Cathedral Mass Timings

From Monday to Saturday: 4:00 PM and 5:15 PM
On Sunday (in English): 10:00 AM (Thai): 6:00 AM, 7:30 AM, 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM

Architecture of Assumption Cathedral

This cathedral built by the French will take you to the charming churches of Europe. The awe inspiring architecture will leave you shell-shocked. Huge and extremely tall rectangular towers flank the main entrance of Assumption Cathedral leading to a commodious nave with high lavish baroque ceilings.

Assumption Cathderal
Interior of Assumption Cathedral
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Outside the cathedral, you will notice two majestic bronze statues of Saint Peter and Pope John Paul II lined on either side of the main entrance. Aesthetically, the church’s Romanesque rectangular structure and twin towers significantly trail off from the styles of Bangkok’s other notable catholic churches such as Holy Rosary and Santa Cruz.

History

The history of Assumption Cathedral can be traced back to the time when French missionaries arrived in Thailand during the mid-1600. The church derives its name from the biblical synonym for death and passage to heaven of the Virgin Mary. When requested by the missionary leader Brother Pascal, a French architect had designed the original Assumption Cathedral in 1809. The funding to build the cathedral was generously provided by the Catholic Chinese philanthropist and businessman Low Kiok Chiang.

In the early 1900s, the church was restructured by the Italians, who added their beautiful artistic touch to most of the host buildings and memorials in Bangkok. However, the church faced great damage during World War II due to allied bombing. What you see today was recovered of what was left after the great destruction. Assumption Cathedral has, however, retained its position as the centre of all the churches in Thailand ever since it was first constructed.

Highlights of Assumption Cathedral

Apart from its ironic history and extraordinary architecture, the courtyard in front of the cathedral is a plain sight of extreme beauty. The most substantial part of Assumption Cathedral is the crypt underneath the sanctuary where the remains of the bishops and missionaries are kept. The left side of the church has an altogether different altar devoted to Nicholas Boonkerd Kitbamrung a proclaimed martyr by Pope John Paul II.

The famous French embassy building, Mandarin Oriental Hotel and numerous art galleries around the corner attract a lot of tourists. There are many building around the church dating back to the time when the French and Italians had carved the city of Bangkok that their sheer beauty will take you by surprise.

Tips

1. It’s best to visit the church early in the morning so that you will have enough time to explore the beauty of the place.
2. In case you intend on attending the mass at the cathedral in English check the timing of English services beforehand.
3. Make sure you spend some time visiting the river and other iconic places in the neighbouring area of the cathedral.

How To Reach Assumption Cathedral

The most convenient way to get to the cathedral is via the Sky train to S6 Taksin Bridge Station. From the sky train station, you can walk to Assumption Church which is about half kilometre away. In case you are travelling from the Oriental Express boat jetty, start walking away from the river and this way you will be heading to straight up to the church.

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