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Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral was built unique stone church architecture in between 1875 and 1899 four roofs and six sets of iron wooden pillars and consists of a network of ponds, lakes, churches, and artificial caves.

Phat Diem cathedral - Ninh Binh
(i) Phat Diem cathedral – Unique stone church – Ninh Binh

Overview: Phuong Dinh Church, part of the Phat Diem cathedral complex, is a giant building entirely made of stone. Numerous stone sculptures are on the inside and outside walls. A large bell cast in the 1890s weighing nearly 2 tons is found in the bell tower. (read further article: Beautiful pagodas in Ninh Binh)

On both sides of the church are four smaller churches of different styles. On the extreme north corner are three stone caves. The most beautiful of these caves is Lo Duc Grotto. In the area surrounding this massive stone and wood cathedral, the rice paddies are peppered with stone churches. But, unlike these structures, built by Europeans and resembling typical churches of the era.

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Phat Diem Cathedral was designed by a Vietnamese priest, known as Father Sau.

Father Sau rallied the local population to build the cathedral, five side chapels, three artificial grottoes, an artificial lake and a bell tower. Phat Diem Cathedral seems to have changed very little since Graham Greene described its gigantic pillars formed out of single trees and the scarlet lacquer work of the altar.

Indeed, with its multi-tiered, curling roofs and its 48 lime-wood columns – (the largest of which weigh seven tones), Phat Diem cathedral – Ninh Binh is a far cry from a European cathedral. Stone relief angels overlook carved dragons and the cathedral’s two-tone bell is accompanied by a giant brass gong.

How to travel to Phat Diem Cathedral

  1. Independent traveller: You can take local bus from Hanoi or Ninh Binh city to Kim Son district, from there you can hike Taxi or Motor-bike to this church.
  2. Tour Operating: You can check and booking a tour with Ninh Binh Tour, we has many choice for this church with private day trip from Hanoi or day tour from Ninh Binh or combine other destination. Check it now