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Duc Ba Church: A must check-in tourist destination when coming to Ho Chi Minh City

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Located in the center of District 1 (Ho Chi Minh City), Duc Ba Church stands out with its ancient French architecture and spacious space from outside to inside the cathedral. This is a must see attraction for visitors to Ho Chi Minh City. Considered a symbol of Ho Chi Minh City, Duc Ba Church (Notre Dame Cathedral) is one of the unique architectural works of Saigon. After many years of wind and dew exposure, this place still retains the same ancient and impressive architecture as in the beginning.

Location of Duc Ba Church

Duc Ba Church
Duc Ba Church – Source: Internet

Duc Ba Church is a popular name for Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, whose official name is the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. What district is Notre Dame Cathedral in? Notre Dame Cathedral is located at Paris Commune Square, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

The church has a total length of 91m, width of 35.5m, main dome 21m high and 2 bell towers on both sides are nearly 57m high. With large, airy space from outside to inside the cathedral, this place has become a symbol of Saigon, a tourist destination for domestic and foreign tourists when arriving in the city named after Uncle Ho.

History of Duc Ba Church

Duc Ba Cathedral
Duc Ba Cathedral – Source: Internet

As one of the prominent religious architectural works in the center of Saigon, not everyone knows the history of Duc Ba Church. According to the introduction to Notre Dame Cathedral, this project was started in 1877 and completed in 1880, designed and supervised by architect J.Bourad.

On April 11, 1880, the dedication and inauguration ceremony of the church in District 1 was organized by Bishop Colombert in the presence of the Governor of Cochinchina, Le Myre de Vilers. Because all construction and interior decoration costs for this project were borne by the Marshal of Cochinchina, the total amount at that time was up to 2,500,000 French francs, so at first this project was called the State Cathedral. Later, the building was renamed Notre Dame Cathedral, the official name is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Basilica, and was awarded the title Basilica in 1962.

Some details about the architecture of Duc Ba Church

After more than a century of construction, Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon is still a destination chosen by many tourists when arriving in Ho Chi Minh City. This unique architectural work possesses many bright spots that attract tourists such as:

Inside the church

Inside the church
Inside the church – Source: Internet

Inside Duc Ba Church is a specially designed cathedral with the ability to withstand 10 times the entire architecture of the building. The interior of the church is designed to include 1 main altar, 2 secondary altars, and 2 rows of chapels. The entire cathedral has a length of 93m, the widest width is up to 35m and the dome height is 21m. With this area, the Duc Ba Church inside the cathedral can accommodate up to 1,200 people.

Read more: Halong Flower Park: The super awesome architecture in Halong City

Bell tower of Duc Ba Church

Bell tower of Duc Ba Church
Bell tower of Duc Ba Church – Source: Internet

When visiting the church, visitors will be truly impressed by the bell tower. This work is considered the soul of the church. At first, the project had only two 36.6m high bell towers, without roofs. In 1895, the cathedral built two additional roofs to cover the bell tower, 21 meters high. Thus, the total bell tower design is 57m high. After that, the project hung 6 more bells consisting of 6 sounds (do, re, mi, son, la si) hung on 2 bell towers. On the face of each bell there are intricate patterns.

Read more: Sai Gon Central Post Office Ho Chi Minh City: A beauty in the heart of Saigon

Altar area at Duc Ba Church

Altar area at Duc Ba Church
Altar area at Duc Ba Church – Source: Internet

If you have gone to Duc Ba Church, visitors should not miss the altar area. The altars here are all delicately carved from monolithic marble. There are 56 multi-colored glass windows put together to create an impressive image. The altar area’s lines, edges, and patterns are all Roman and Gothic in design, dignified and exquisite.

Park area outside Duc Ba Church

The map of Duc Ba Church has an area that young people are very enthusiastic about checking in, which is the park outside the church. G. Ciocchetti created the statue of Our Lady of Peace in 1959, which stands in the heart of the campus in front of the cathedral. The statue is 4.6m high, weighs 8 tons, made from Italian white marble.

Some other highlights in the architecture of Duc Ba Church

Duc Ba Church
Duc Ba Church – Source: Internet

The French cast the bronze statue of Pigneau de Béhaine in 1903. The character of the statue is Bishop Pigneau de Béhaine (Bishop of Ba Da). He brought with him a boy – prince Nguyen Phuc Canh (son of King Gia Long). This is considered a symbol of harmony between Catholicism and the Nguyen Dynasty at that time. By 1945, the statue was demolished, leaving only the marble pedestal.

Statue of Our Lady of Peace: After a period of leaving the marble pedestal empty, in 1958, priest Giuse Pham Van Thien commissioned sculptor G.Ciocchetti to sculpt the statue of Our Lady of Peace (made of Italian Carrara stone) to place. here. Statue of the Virgin Mary in an upright position, holding a globe in her hand, with a cross on top of the globe. The Virgin Mary’s eyes looked up to the sky as if praying for peace for the Vietnamese people.

Opening hours of Duc Ba Church

  • From Monday to Saturday: 5:30 am; 5:30 p.m
  • Sunday: hours include: 5:30; 6:45 am; 8:00 am; 9:30 am (mass in English); 16:00; 5:15 p.m.; 6:30 p.m.

Specifically, according to Duc Ba Church’s mass schedule, on weekdays the church will have 2 masses taking place, 1 mass starting at 5:30 a.m. and 1 afternoon mass at 5:30 p.m. On Sunday alone, there will be 7 masses, taking place at 5:30 am, 6:45 am, 8:00 am, 9:30 am (mass in English), 4:00 pm, 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm.

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