09 Desember 2011

St Joseph's Cathedral- An Outstanding Place of Worship

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The St Joseph’s Cathedral, locally known as the Nha Tha Lon, is a famous church in Hanoi. Dating as far back as 1886, this stunning structure is the oldest church in this city. Due to its size and significance it is known amongst local Vietnamese as the ‘Big Church’. The Bao Thien Pagoda which was a significant ancient structure in Hanoi constructed during the Ly Dynasty of the12th century- was demolished by the then ruling French in order to find a suitable plot for the construction of this church. However, the resulting St Joseph’s Cathedral became very popular amongst the locals as well as the visitors to the city.

This spectacular structure, which was designed to resemble the famous Notre Dame of Paris, is located along the Nha Chung Street, which is in the vicinity of the Ho Hoan Kiem - another interesting attraction in Hanoi. The Nha Chung Street is well known for its touristy atmosphere and the Cathedral, with its exquisite stained glass work and gothic architectural styles, takes you on a trip to a bygone era.

Though the functioning of the Nha Tha Lon began during the colonial rule, during the communist rule the functioning of the cathedral stopped. Proper religious services restarted in 1990 and today it holds a mass twice a day and like the old times the devotees of the faith flock to the place of worship. The Cathedral is open for the public during non-mass hours and visitors can use the side entrance to explore the inside of the Cathedral. Generally the area is crowded during Sundays, so a week day would be ideal for exploring the Nha Tha Lon.

Visitors to this beautiful city are afforded a unique cultural experience as well as warm hospitality. Lodging options in this city feature modern amenities and facilities and most find that accommodation in Hanoi Vietnam is easily bookable through online lodging option providers. Though visitors are offered a range of lodging options including budget hotels and luxury accommodations, the executive apartments Hanoi has on offer are much sought after.  For luxury serviced apartments providing easy access to the best of what the city has to offer try the Somerset West Lake Hanoi.