Apart from the central entertainment places, cathedrals are favorite place for enjoying the Christmas. Cathedrals in Saigon were mainly built in the second half of 19th century in the French and Roman architectural style. Some were built to be the moral support for French government in the old time, some were for the local followers’ spiritual needs.
Duc Ba cathedral (Notre Dame Basilica): Dong Khoi St. Dist. 1
The biggest cathedral in Saigon is Duc Ba. It was finished in 1880, and it was called the state cathedral since it was built from the money of the French government. There were official celebration happened and moved back to be managed by Saigon diocese.
In that time, Duc Ba was considered the biggest one in the series of colonial cathedral. It was built from the Marseille bricks, color glass and the steel frame were brought all the way from France, together with the green stone Bien Hoa. The round doors of Romance together with the Gothic style of snap dome remind the great cathedral in Paris, Charters, Rein.
There are no place for candle in it, but it was shined by electric light from the beginning. It was built since 7 October 1877 and was inaugurated since 1880. The cathedral was designed in France, executed by the French engineer named Bourad.
Tan Dinh cathedral: Address: 289 Hai Ba Trung St. – Dist. 3
Tan Dinh cathedral was smaller, and it is for the Vietnamese follower. It is typical for the mixture of many French cathedral architect. It was built and expanded many times. Being inaugurated in 16 December 1876, it was one of the early building for religion constructions in Saigon.
Located in the busy street, Tan Dinh cathedral has a beautiful architect with the bending dome and the complicated carving details. In the afternoon, the bell was rang and it prints a long line in the sky.
Huyen Sy cathedral: Address: No 1 Ton That Tung St. Dist.1
Huyen Si cathedral was built according to the small cathedrals in France. This is one of the rare constructions using the granite Bien Hoa in its front as well as the stands and pillars. This kind of granite is firm and there is no traditional decoration details, but it presents the wish of expressing wealth.
The cathedral’s architect is Gothic’s style. The wall has windows but the light doesn’t come in so much due to the filter. There is a tomb in the back, which is made by a couple of rich persons – Huyen Sy. That is the richest person in that time, who spent money to build the cathedral. That is why the cathedral was named Huyen Sy.
Cha Tam cathedral: Address: 25 Hoc Lac, dist 5
Cha Tam cathedral/ Franciso Xavie cathedral in Cho Lon (Chinese town) is decorated with horizontal lacquered board just like the temple of Chinese. In 3 December 1900, in the Saint Franciso Xavie ceremony, Father Mossard, the Saigon diocesan put the first stone to build the cathedral for the Chinese – Franciso Xavie.
In 10 January 1902, the inauguration was done, then Father Tam Asson also build a school, a kindergarten, rental houses.
In 1934, Cha Tam passed away. He was buried right in the entrance wall of the cathedral. Therefore, people often call the cathedral Cha Tam cathedral. It was renewed in 1990.
Cho Quan Cathedral: 120 Tran Binh Trong st. dist 5.
Cho Quan cathedral has architect of Gothic. After more than 100 years, it is still impressive and biggest in Cho Lon area. Cho Quan is one of the longest religion family of Ho Chi Minh city diocese. This is the place of first chapel in 1674 built by the parishioner from North and Central Vietnam.
After many times of rebuilding, in 1887, Father Nicola Ham rebuilt a new cathedral. This building was inaugurated in 1896 and still being used.