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Built between 1875 and 1898 in Ninh Binh province, 120 km from Hanoi, Phat Diem Church is an age-old and famous religious construction in Vietnam. It is a fine combination between the oriental pagoda architecture and the Gothic style of Christian architecture.

The most important structure is the Cathedral with 80 metres long and 24 metres wide. Its vaulted ceiling is supported by 48 massive ironwood pillars almost one metre in diameter and 10 metres tall. In the lateral naves, there are 14 stone bas-reliefs depicting the life of Jesus Christ.

The church's facade overlooks a large lake, Phuong Dinh, where there is a statue of Jesus Christ standing 3 metres high on a small islet situated in the middle of the lake.

Phuong Dinh is an imposing stone structure 24 metres long,17 metres wide and 25 metres high. The lake's stone low relief is to be seen inside as well as outside. On its top are hanging a big drum and a big bell weighing about two tons. They were cast a hundred years ago.

On both sides of the Cathedral four Chapels mount the guard of honour. Each one has a different style. At the far end, rise three stone grottos, the most beautiful of them is that of Our Lady of Lord.

Finally, on the North-West corner of the site rises the jewel of the whole complex, which is popularly called the Stone Chapel because all its carts are made of stone: walls, pillars, beams, windows and towers.

Phat Diem Cathedral through the ups and downs of ahundred years of its existence has always been welcoming worshippers in the areas around and in whole country of vietnam also.

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Additional Photos by Nason Nguyen (Nasonnguyen) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 15 W: 0 N: 58] (841)
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