The cathedral in Nha Trang: a vivid manifestation of Vietnamese Catholicism
Approximately 8% of the population of the population of Vietnam to this day adheres to Catholicism. This remarkable fact is explained by the colonial past of the country – in the era of French Indochina, almost all of South Vietnam was Catholic. St. Mary’s Cathedral in Nha Trang is one of the current strongholds of Vietnamese Catholicism.
A Brief History of the Cathedral
The Catholic cathedral was founded in Nha Trang in 1928. It was decided to build a temple on top of a hill, for which the rocky summit was blown up by mines and leveled. In total, about 500 min was spent. On the formed level ground area of 4,5 thousand square meters. m and laid the temple, the construction of which took almost 5 years.
After the construction was completed, it was started. First of all, huge window stained glass windows from fragments of colored glass were installed. Then the workers fixed in place 3 large bells, cast in France in 1789. Registration was started in early 1934, and in July of the same year the solemn consecration of the cathedral took place. The ceremony of consecration was even held again after 6 and a half years. The recognizable clock on the main tower was installed already at the current temple at the end of 1935.
The area occupied by the cathedral was about 720 square meters. Originally, a cemetery was placed near the church, but in connection with the construction of the station in Nyachang, the cemetery was removed, and the remains of burials were placed in the niches of the cathedral.
Catholic cathedral in Nha Trang as it is
The building of the cathedral in Nha Trang can be seen from any end of the city – it was not an accidental decision to place the temple on a hill. In addition to being the most notable building in the city, the residence of the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Nha Trang is also located in this temple.
The Cathedral of St. Mary was built in the Gothic style. The most notable element of the cathedral is the 38-meter square tower with a clock and a large Catholic cross. Monumentality of the cathedral is added concrete and cement slabs, from which the structure was built.
Inside, the cathedral is as impressive as it is outside. It is very unusual that the interior space is decorated with fresh flowers. Sunlight penetrates through the stained glass windows and colors the interior with bright colors.
The mosaic stained-glass windows describing the biblical subjects become even more colorful. The wall, in the niches of which the ashes of the deceased were reburied from the former cemetery, are decorated with memorial plates.
Outside, in the courtyard in front of the cathedral are statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, surrounded by a lot of chrysanthemums, and along the perimeter of the temple are organically arranged statues of saints. Behind the statue of St. Mary there is a Biblical legend, next to it there is a small altar.
Throughout the complex, prudently arranged benches so that tourists and believers could rest.
What is he so attracted to?
The Catholic cathedral in Nha Trang due to its dominant location really attracts the attention of tourists and is able to surprise everyone who did not expect to see an islet of Christianity in the midst of the predominant Buddhism in Indochina. Let’s try to briefly consider what the cathedral of Russian-speaking tourists mostly surprises.
Of course, people immediately notice his tower with a clock and a crucifix. People are fascinated by its slightly gloomy and majestic gothic appearance. The interior of the building is striking in its scope and at the same time a certain airiness, an abundance of light and colors, which is not always typical for European Gothic temples.
How to get there?
As it became clear, to find this cathedral in Nha Trang is very easy. To get to it is not more difficult, since the cathedral is located in the heart of the city, next to the railway station. From the tourist area of Nha Trang can be reached on foot, it takes up to half an hour. From the “lotus” on the beach side also leads a direct road to the temple.
If there is no desire to walk, you can take a taxi – it will cost no more than 40 thousand VND. Next to the cathedral, shuttle bus No. 4 also stops. The Nha Trang bus service costs 7,000 dong.
Rent a bike, you can drive not only to the territory of the temple complex, but even park at the main gate itself, sweeping through the garden through the arch, past the statue of the Virgin Mary.
Access to the inspection of the cathedral is open at any time, but you can go inside only at certain times, when there is a divine service. It is better to check the service hours on the spot.
Convenient location, transport accessibility, as well as a special significance for Vietnamese Catholicism make visiting Nha Trang Cathedral necessary for a tourist looking for new experiences, in addition to endless beach holidays.