Phat Diem Cathedral Ninh Binh

Phat Diem Cathedral, Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh and Ha Long are two vertices of the bottom edge of Red River Delta triangle. Limestone terrain changed over time and alluvial soil have made Ninh Binh a “terrestrial Ha Long” with a multitude of caves, lakes, wetland mountains,.. such as Trang An tourist area, Tam Coc – Bich Dong, Van Long nature reserve, especially Phat Diem Cathedral Ninh Binh which are valuable for tourism development.

Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral Ninh Binh, 120km south of Hanoi, was built from 1875 – 1898. The name of “Phat Diem”, which means “to generate the beauty”, is given by Nguyen Cong Tru. The church was built in 24 years, with the level of technical and traffic conditions of the late 19th century, the transportation of thousands of tons of rock including the blocks of 20 tons, hundreds ironwood trees to Phat Diem to build a church was a feat. Kim Son has just been exploited, formerly, it was very muddy, to handle the subsidence of the land, before building the cathedral, people moved a small mountain which is about 40km far away to Phat Diem. Visitors coming here also encounter So mountain, which is a part of the mountain moved to Phat Diem.

Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral

This is an architectural ensemble of the East consisting (from the south go into): a lake, Phuong Dinh, Cathedral with four churches in two sides, three artificial grottos, stone church.

Phuong Dinh, the bell house, a 25m high, 17m wide, 24m long structure, consist of three stories built from blocks, the first floor, also the largest one, was built of bluestone. The art of building Phuong Dinh is very awesome, workers combined the blocks stone of thousands of pounds manually with a very high degree of accuracy. A large green flagstones is placed in Phuong Dinh, the outside and inside have bas-reliefs carved on stone depicting beautiful images of Jesus and the saints with chiseled lines. The second floor of Phuong Dinh has a large drum while the third floor has a bell of 1.4m high, 1.1m in diameter, weighs almost 2,000 kg, molded in in 1890. The roof of Phuong Dinh includes five arches, four lower arches are in the four corners, the highest arch is the roof of the third floor. The roof of Phuong Dinh in Phat Diem Cathedral Ninh Binh is not as tall as the tower in other churches, but is the low curved roof which is as ancient as the roof of a temple.

Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral

Great Cathedral: Phat Diem Cathedral Ninh Binh is the main church built in 1891 with five entrances carved stone surround.Phat Diem Cathedral Ninh Binh is 74m long, 21m wide, 15m high, with four roofs. In the church, there are 6 rows of monolithic ironwood, two rows of pillars in the middle is 11m high, 2.35m in circumference, each pillar weighs about 10 tons.

In the cathedral, there is a large altar made a monolithic slab of 3m long, 0.9m wide, 0.8m high and weighs about 20 tons. The front and sides of the altar are sophisticatedly carved with the typical flowers of the four seasons in a year which make the altar is as being covered by a bright colored scarf. In 2 sides of the cathedral, there are 4 small churches of different styles.

Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral

Stone church: Stone church is also known as “Nha tho dang kinh trai tim Duc Me”. The name of Stone church comes from the fact that everything in this church, from walls, pillars, ground, bars to tie beams,… are made of stone. The inside of the stone church is carved many reliefs, particularly the four-carvings: fir tree, chrysanthemum, bamboo, apricot symbolizing the weather and the beauty of the four seasons in a year. The ways of carving  animals such as lions, phoenix is extraordinarily vivid.

Phat Diem Cathedral

Phat Diem Cathedral

Artificial grottos: In the north of  Phat Diem Cathedral Ninh Binh, there are three artificial grottos created by the various large and small rocks retaining their natural appearance. In particular, Lo Duc is the most beautiful grotto.

Phat Diem Cathedral Ninh Binh is a unique architecture in Vietnam. The structures are magnificent, but in harmony with the natural scenery, bearing the Oriental architecture.

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