"A visit to the cathedral was an unforgettable highlight of our trip to Vietnam. The architecture is beautiful, the atmosphere peaceful and the gardens beautiful. The structures and grounds exude a vibrant and unique history. A mixture of European and Vietnamese design, with pagoda-style roofs, the cathedral was designed in 1892 by Father Tran Luc, a Vietnamese priest. Graham Greene featured the cathedral in a memorable scene from The Quiet American. We spent several hours exploring the place, in awe of everything we saw, and will definitely return to Vietnam to see the cathedral again."
Phat Diem Cathedral
The Phat Diem Cathedral - is 34 kilometers away from Ninh Binh center and sits in the middle of scenic canals and rice paddies. The little town is called Kim Son, The cathedral is built of stones is a very beautiful mixture of eastern & western gothic architecture which includes 2 gothic chapels and some massive ironwood columns.
Phat Diem Cathedral is 120 km from the South of Hanoi. It was built from 1875 to 1898. The name “Phat Diem” was given by Nguyen Cong Tru with mean of arising beauty. It took 24 years to complete the cathedral. With technical standard and traffic condition in the late 19th century, the transport of thousands of tons of rocks (some rocks weigh 20 tons) and hundreds of iron wood trees to Phat Diem was an incredible attempt.
Phat Diem Stone Cathedral is among the most famous and most beautiful churches in Vietnam with unique architecture: a tasteful combination of western church architecture design and Vietnamese religious buildings.
The church was built by stone and timber. The material very easy to get in Ninh Binh province. The preparation stage, mainly extracting substances from limestone mountains, took the neighborhood as much as 10 years to finish.
Phat Diem Cathedral is a complex comprising of a river, a cathedral, a stone church, Phuong Dinh and 3 artificial grottoes. At first sight. Visitors will see the square lake in-front of the cathedral. At the center of the lake, there's A little island with a statue of Jesus Christ.
Phuong Dinh readily becomes the next eye catching monument, with rock carvings on either side of the walls. It's 25 m large, 17m broad and 24m long with three floors. The first floor is covered by large green flagstones. The upper and middle floors house a big drum and a bell.
The cathedral is 74 meters long, 21 meters wide and 15 meters high with four roofs. It had been built 6 rows of monolithic ironwood. Inside the cathedral are just four small churches of different styles.
Around Phat Diem Cathedral, you will find so many beautiful stone caves and hills that are artificial. With an artistic design and skillful approach, Phat Diem Cathedral is a pride of several local Ninh Binh individuals. Beside visit Phat Diem Stone Cathedral you may visit Kim Son for sedge mats.
Inside the Cathedral
The most suitable time to travel to Phat Diem Cathedral is probably at Christmas. Because the largest community activity of the parishioners here. At Christmas Eve, there will be many meaningful activities. Especially elaborately decorated and prepared that will make visitors bewildered by the splendid beauty of Phat Diem Church at night.
Phat Diem Cathedral
From a Travel Blog:
"It may be further away from all the other attractions but definitely worth the visits if you are interested in the olden buildings. The architecture is very unique and the scenery is lovely. I would recommend to choose a cooler day to visit as the sun can be quite harsh in the hot summer months."