Admire the unique complex of the nearly 130-year-old Phat Diem church in Ninh Binh

Phat Diem stone church in Ninh Binh has a unique artistic architecture, known as the “Catholic capital of Vietnam”. Phat Diem stone church is 28 km south of Ninh Binh city, the church is located on an area of ​​about 117m wide, 243m long, in the middle of Phat Diem town center, Kim Son district, Ninh Binh province. The name Phat Diem means “generating beauty”.

In 1828, Mr. Nguyen Cong Tru – a famous coffin and poet was sent to the North by the Hue court with the title “Dinh Dien Su” to explore new lands. He was the one who founded Tien Hai district (Thai Binh) and Kim Son district (Ninh Binh). These two districts are now two rich and bustling districts, worthy of the names “Silver Sea”, “Golden Mountain”.

Phat Diem church complex was built in Kim Son land by priest Peter Tran Luc (also known as Sau, 1825-1899) presided over the construction. Mr. Sau has been the parish priest of Phat Diem since 1965. During his 34 years as the parish priest of Phat Diem, Mr. Sau has taken care of human education, as well as the moral life for parishioners. Especially with a very wide view when building Phat Diem church complex.

Phat Diem stone church complex in Ninh Binh was built with many different items such as ponds, lakes, monuments, Phuong Dinh (bell tower), big church, Ro Co biblical chapel, artificial stone caves, etc. … Phat Diem Kim Son stone church was built during 24 years (1975 – 1988) with many difficulties. The materials were transported from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, … hundreds of kilometers away to Phat Diem to build. In the condition of rudimentary working vehicles, thousands of tons of stone, hundreds of ironwood columns with trees up to 12m long, 2.4m in diameter weighing over 7 tons were moved here to build this work.

Phat Diem Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Vietnam, with an age of more than 100 years. This work is considered by experts to be the most beautiful Catholic church complex in the country thanks to the unique combination of East-West architecture. Let’s learn about Phat Diem church below!

Phuong Dinh
The biggest highlight in this religious complex is Phuong Dinh. Phuong Dinh means square house, shaped like a large but empty village communal house. 21 m wide, 25 m high, including 3 floors. The lower floor is the largest, built entirely of square green stone. Divided into three hearts, in each heart there is a stone collapse. The biggest rock collapse in the middle is a block 4.2 m long, 3.2 m wide, and 0.3 m thick.

Phat Diem Cathedral is unique in that although it is a Catholic work. But it is modeled after the architectural features of traditional pagodas of Vietnam with countless curved roofs shaped like the bow of a boat.

Phat Diem Cathedral was built entirely of stone and ironwood materials. Wood is taken from many localities such as Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Son Tay…. The stone was brought back from Thien Duong mountain, 30 km from Phat Diem. More precious stones are obtained from Nhoi mountain near Thanh Hoa province, 60 km away.

There are trees weighing up to 7 tons, stones weighing up to 20 tons, which were transported by primitive means in the late 19th century.

Phat Diem stone church also has many finely carved details. The building is decorated with countless familiar images. Taken from Vietnamese villages such as pine, chrysanthemum, bamboo, apricot or lotus…

Located in the center is the large church, built only in the last 3 months of 1891. But the work of preparing materials and treating pedicures had lasted for the previous 10 years.

Phat Diem was originally an alluvial sea with soft ground. Uncle Sau had to have workers drive down millions of bamboo poles. And thousands of new stone blocks laid a solid foundation for this great project.

What is more impressive to tourists when visiting Phat Diem church complex is the Church of the Heart of Our Lady, first built in 1883, with a length of 15.30m, a width of 8.50m and a height of 6m. and made entirely of stone. Inside the church, there are many beautiful stone reliefs, especially the carvings of the four quarters, apricot, chrysanthemum, and bamboo, symbolizing the weather and the beauty of the four seasons of the year.

All structures inside the church such as foundation, columns, beams, walls, bars, towers, altars are made of stone.

This work is like a highlight in Phat Diem church complex

A few notes when exploring Phat Diem church

– Phat Diem Cathedral is a religious place, so when visiting and admiring the unique architecture, visitors should not be noisy, laugh or talk loudly.

– Because it is a sacred place, you should wear discreet clothes, avoid wearing offensive, too short clothes.

– Virtual believers take check-in photos in accordance with fine customs and traditions, without affecting the image of Phat Diem church.

– You should choose sports shoes for ease of sightseeing in this Catholic building complex. 

– You can also bring some items such as glasses, hats, umbrellas, which both help protect your skin under the harsh sunlight, and can also become accessories to “birth” thousands of beautiful pictures. .

Not only outstanding with unique architecture, but Phat Diem church is also a wonderful “background” for the movement. What are you waiting for without coming to experience? 

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