Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh City Overview

The most famous religious landmark in Ho Chi Minh, the Notre Dame Cathedral, was constructed by French colonists between 1863 and 1880 and resembles the one in Paris. The cathedral features Romanesque architectural features, a distinct red-brick aspect, stained glass windows, and twin bell towers measuring 58 meters. It is currently under renovation, and you can't explore most of it from the inside.

The Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon is one of the city’s most loved and important landmarks. A statue of the Virgin Mary stands tall in front of the church. Officially known as the Cathedral Basilica of the Lady of the Immaculate Conception, it retains the aura of grand bygone eras and holy sanctity.

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Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon Architecture

Interiors of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City
The Notre Dame Cathedral was Built in Saigon in the 1800s by the French (Source)

After Vietnam passed into French hands, The Roman Catholic Church established a religious service in the country for the colonists. The Notre Dame Cathedral was built between 1863 and 1880, and was originally called the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saïgon. All the material for its construction was imported from France. The cathedral is made up of red bricks, from the French region Toulouse, and has a huge rose window making up its facade between the bell towers. The two bell towers, the cathedral’s most iconic feature, were added to the cathedral in 1895. They stand at a height of 58 metres. The long spacious interior of the church has many tablets depicting drawings of biblical scenes.

Virgin Mary Statue in Front of Notre Dame Cathedral Ho Chi Minh City
The Bell Towers and the Virgin Mary Statue are the Most Iconic Structures of the Notre Dame Cathedral
in Saigon (Source)

The cathedral is surrounded by a beautiful garden, lush green and immaculately maintained to this day. The garden has a famous statue of the Virgin Mary. In 2005, legend has it that the statue shed tears, and huge crowds of people thronged the cathedral trying to catch a glimpse of this incredible event. The clergy of the Catholic church haven’t been able to confirm this legend.

How to Reach Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Notre Dame Cathedral is Located in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (Source)

The Notre Dame Cathedral is located in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City in District 1, and is close to other tourist attractions like the Central Post Office and the Independence Palace. It is well connected to other parts of the city, and can be accessed by the local bus services. The local taxi services are also a good option to come to District 1.

Tips on Visiting Notre Dame Cathedral

  • The Notre Dame Cathedral is currently undergoing large scale renovation, because of which tourists are restricted entry at certain hours, particularly during mass timings.
  • The cathedral has an organised tour available with English speaking staff, which would be a good option for those looking to learn more about its history and significance.
  • Keeping in mind the sensitivities of the local community, one should dress modestly and maintain decorum within the cathedral premises.
  • Don’t forget to take a walk in the garden once you are done visiting the church! It is a beautiful place to enjoy a quiet and peaceful walk.
Structure of the Notre Dame Cathderal Ho Chi Minh City
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Source)

People who visit Saigon often find themselves drawn to this iconic building, with its beautiful French architecture and atmosphere of peaceful tranquility. Although not a catholic country, the Notre Dame Cathedral is reminiscent of Vietnam’s mixed history and roots, and reminds people who visit it that the quest for inner peace and happiness transcends religious boundaries.

Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon Mass Schedule

For tourists wanting to attend service at the church, the best day to attend is Sunday. The main Sunday Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon is at 9:30 AM. However, mass is also held at 5:30 AM, 6:45 AM, 8:00 AM, 4:00 PM, 5:30 PM, and 6:30 PM on Sunday.

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