Hanoi’s Historical Sites Series: Nhà thờ Lớn Hà Nội

We are now in the final stretch of our Hanoi’s Historical Sights Series!  Thank you for bearing with me, my dear blog readers!  Hehe…..  For this last entry, I’m saving the best.  I’m not being prejudiced here but I was a Catholic before.  What could I do?  But either way, may you be Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, or Protestant as I am, it doesn’t matter.  Religion doesn’t matter.

Buddhists claim that Buddha is the only real god.  Muslims claim that Allah is the only real god.  Christians claim that God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit or the Triune God is the only real God.  Whatever a person’s belief is, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is the relationship of that person to his god and the encounter he has with THE ONLY REAL GOD and that is GOD!  I do believe that GOD reveals himself to each one of us no matter what religion we have and it’s up to us to believe and heed His call or to ignore.

Anyway highway, that’s too far heavy an issue for a post like this.  ‘Cause what I would just want is to share to you another Hanoi’s attraction and that is Nhà thờ Lớn Hà Nội or St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi.

hanoi vietnam

For a predominantly Buddhist city, St. Joseph’s Cathedral is an oddity to me.  In one corner of Hanoi, you will find the oldest Roman Catholic church which was built in 1886 by the French colonial government.  Its architectural structure was inspired by Notre Dame de Paris, a world-renowned church in the city of light.  The exterior of the church is one of that late 19th-century Gothic Revival or Neo-Gothic style.  It has twin bell towers in the shape of a rectangle which stand taller than the crucifix at the center. (Source:  Wikipedia)

hanoi history

Below the cross is a clock in Roman numerals, my first time to see a clock at a church’s facade.  And below the clock is a rather small statue of St. Joseph, the human father of Jesus.

hanoi catholic

Only a few meters away from the front door is a small court of the bronze statue of Regina Pacis, the Queen of Peace carrying Jesus by her hand.  With Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus, the nativity completes thus making St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi the center of the city’s Christmas!  Christians and non-Christians alike flock to the cathedral every Christmas and New Year’s eve to celebrate.

hanoi church

St. Joseph’s from Across the Street

hanoi catholic churchA Nearer View of St. Joseph’s

st. joseph's cathedral hanoi

St. Joseph’s By Night

From Hoàn Kiếm Lake, take a walk west until you find the dead-end of Nha Tho Street.  The main gate and front door are only open during mass.  For mass schedule, click here.

There you have three of the most visited historical sites of Hanoi.  Stay tuned tomorrow for an entertaining post of Vietnam’s history as we continue to unravel the beauty of a country as raw as Vietnam!  Just log on to www.maryrosalieo.blogspot.com The Other Side of Mae!  🙂  #tosomtravels

“…..you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.  You have made heaven and earth.” – Isaiah 37:16

“They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.” – Isaiah 37:19

“…..all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God.” – Isaiah 37:20

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