Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City 

Wednesday, 13/03/2024

The Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is located in the center of Ho Chi Minh City and a magnificent architectural masterpiece that is extremely significant in terms of both its historical and cultural significance. 

Having been constructed during the time of French colonial rule, the cathedral serves as a representation of the city's continuing religion and its rich legacy. 

It is a monument to the city's blend of European and Vietnamese traditions that the cathedral stands as a towering spire, with its elaborate workmanship, towering spires, and gorgeous red brick front.

History of Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon

  • Address: No.1 Cong xa Paris St, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM from Monday to Sunday
  • Entrance fee: free

The Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, which is sometimes referred to as the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, has a fascinating history that is a reflection of the city's colonial heritage. 

The French architect Jules Bourard oversaw the construction of the cathedral, which began in 1863 and was finished in 1880. The cathedral was named after him. A number of the components that were utilized in its construction were brought in from France, notably the red bricks that were used for the facade.

Notre-Dame-Cathedral-in-Ho-Chi-Minh-cityNotre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh city

Initially constructed to cater to the needs of the French Catholic community in Saigon, the cathedral was given its name in honor of the Virgin Mary. Over many years, it evolved into a symbol that holds religious and cultural significance not only for the Catholic community but also for the city altogether. 

Throughout the Vietnam War, the cathedral served as a major landmark in Saigon, and it was a witness to crucial events and transformations that took place in the city.

Architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral 

The construction of Ho Chi Minh City's Notre Dame Cathedral utilized French architectural materials, such as robust red bricks from Marseille. Because of the high quality of these materials, the cathedral has stood the test of time and looks great inside and out.

With a length of 93 meters, a width of 35 meters, and a lofty height of around 21 meters, the cathedral's interior is planned to hold about 1,200 people. Chapels embellish the interior, which features a central nave surrounded by two aisles.

 In the smaller chapels, you'll find altars adorned with statues; the larger altar, made of marble and richly carved, is the showpiece. A breathtaking array of sculptures portraying figures and events from the Bible may be found throughout the cathedral as well. 

The-exterior-beauty-of-the-Notre-Dame-Cathedral-in-Ho-Chi-Minh-cityThe exterior beauty of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh city

Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the assembly of 52 breathtaking stained glass windows and excellent paintings enhances the breathtaking splendor of the church.

You may find a Swiss clock that dates back to 1887 between the bell towers. The internal mechanism of the clock is quite intricate, despite its seemingly diminutive appearance. 

Located in the bell towers atop the church, a set of six bells that were made in France and brought to Vietnam in 1879 make beautiful chimes. Two tented roofs were affixed to the bell towers in 1895 to elevate their architectural beauty.

Internal-structure-of-the-Saigon-Notre-Dame-CathedralInternal structure of the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral

Bronze statues of King Gia Long's son Prince Canh and devout Catholic missionary bishop Pigneau de Béhaine once graced the grounds outside Notre Dame Cathedral. But in 1945, anti-colonial protestors demolished these artworks. 

A white marble statue of Our Lady of Peace was commissioned from outside in 1959 to replace the previous ones by Vietnamese priest Pham Van Thien. Ever since then, Saigon residents have fondly called the church "Notre Dame Cathedral" or "Nha tho Duc Ba" in Vietnamese.

How to get to Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh?

The Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is easily accessible. You can transfer to here by car, bus, taxi. From Ho Chi Minh City Center, traveling via Cong Hoa Street will take about 20 minutes driving. 

Visitors-visit-Saigon-Notre-Dame-CathedralVisitors visit Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral

Taking the bus instead of a taxi can help you save money. You can also reach the cathedral by taking any of the following bus routes: 04, 120, 18, 30, 31, 36, or 93.

If you stay near Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon, you can walk there. However, Ho Chi Minh car rental service will help you to transfer safely, conveniently, and comfortably, don't be overwhelmed by the congested traffic of  Saigon

Attraction near Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh

Several other sights, including the Central Post Office, Independence Palace, People's Committee Building, and the vibrant Walking Street, may be found in the vicinity of Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral. 

The Central Post Office is a stunning structure that was created by Gustave Eiffel and dates back to the colonial era. Located just across from the cathedral, this edifice is yet another example of French colonial architecture in Ho Chi Minh City.

The stunning architecture and illustrious history of Saigon are on display in the Notre Dame Cathedral. Its religious importance and magnificent architecture make it an essential stop for any tourist in Ho Chi Minh City. Take in the lively vibe of the city center as you explore the cathedral and marvel at its magnificent features. While in Saigon, make a point to see this famous site and experience its enchantment for yourself.





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