Phat Diem Stone Cathedral, located in Kim Son District of Ninh Binh Province, is about 120 kilometers from Hanoi to the south, built in the 1875s to 1898s, with oriental architecture. ‘Phat Diem’ means generating beauty, named by Nguyen Cong Tru. The church was built during the 24 consecutive years. This is one of the most famous and beautiful churches in Vietnam with special architecture: an elegant combination of Western architectural style and Vietnamese religious buildings.
If you are a Catholic, this is a great destination for you when traveling in Vietnam.
And as its name suggests, it was built of stone and wood that are readily available in the mountain area of Ninh Binh. The preparation phase, mainly extracting materials from limestone mountains, took the locals as many as 10 years to finish.
This is an Eastern architectural ensemble including Lake, Phuong Dinh, cathedral with 4 churches on the sides, 3 man-made grottos, stone churches.
Phuong Dinh is the first area in the architectural planning of Phat Diem. This architecture has 25 meters height, 17 meters width, 24 meters length consisting of three floors built of boulder. With the craft, local workers assembled thousands of boulders along with a high degree of accuracy. In the middle of Phuong Dinh, it has a monolithic table; outside and inside, there has the bas-relief carved images of Jesu with elegant lines. The second floor of Phuong Dinh, it hangs a big drum. The third floor hung a bell with 1.4 meters height, 1.1 meters in diameter and 2000 kilograms weight. This big bell was casted in 1890. Phuong Dinh’s roof has five arches; the highest arch is in the middle of the third floor. Roof of Phuong Dinh in Phat Diem cathedral is not soaring as the other churches; it has ancient roof and same the roof of temple, pagoda.
Cathedral: Cathedral is the main church built in 1891. It has 5 entrances and carved arch. The cathedral has 74 meters length, 21 meters width, 15 meters height and 4 roofs. Inside the church there includes 6 monolithic ironwood columns; two rows of columns with 11 meters height, 2.35 meters in circumference, 10 tons weight in each column. Besides, it has a large altar was made by a monolithic boulder with 3 meters length, 0.9 meters width, 0.8 meters height and 20 tons weight. In the front of the boulder, it was carved with flowers of the four seasons. Two sides of the cathedral are 4 churches with the unique architectural.
Stone Church: stone church is called the church dedicated to Our Lady. Called the stone church because everything in the church is made of stone: walls, columns… Inside, there have a number of bas-reliefs.
The inside of the church has many sophisticated carved reliefs, with chrysanthemums, bamboo, fir trees and apricot trees that symbolize four seasons in a year. Around Phat Diem Cathedral, there are a lot of beautiful stone caves and artificial mountains. So, with artistic design and skillful technique, Phat Diem Cathedral is the pride of many Ninh Binh people.
Artificial grotto: in the northern of Phat Diem cathedral has 3 grottos created by rocks with different sizes, Lo Thien Grotto is the most beautiful.
Some photos of the church:
Inside the church there are large stone columns.
A European crucifix is mounted on a lotus.
The worship space with red-lacquer trimmed with gold items.
Phat Diem stone cathedral is a unique architecture in Vietnam. The magnificent structure but harmony with the natural scenery with the style of oriental architecture, the cathedral will bring you exciting time and unforgettable impression.
Will be a great combination when taking a 1 day tour Hanoi – Phat Diem Stone Church – Tam Coc. You can refer to our package tours follow this link: