St Joseph's Cathedral Hanoi
St Joseph's Cathedral, also known as Nhà Thờ Lớn, is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Hanoi. It is located on Pho Nha Chung, or Nha Chung Street, a short distance from the Ho Hoan Kiem, the Lake of the Returned Sword.
St Joseph's Cathedral was known simply as the "Big Church" among the Vietnamese of Hanoi. It was consecrated on the night of Christmas in 1886. The stained glass windows inside the church are the originals dating from its establishment.
To erect the St Joseph's, the French demolished Bao Thien Pagoda, an ancient Vietnamese temple that was standing on the site. It was in fact quite an important pagoda that dates from the 12th century Ly Dynasty.
St Joseph's Cathedral was designed to resemble the Notre Dame of Paris. When the communists took over Hanoi, the Catholic faith suffered three decades of suppression which was only relaxed two decades ago. Mass only resumed at the St Joseph's Cathedral in 1990. Today people once again enjoy freedom of worship. This can be seen on Sundays, when St Joseph's becomes absolutely pack.
St Joseph's Cathedral is located on located at Nha Chung Street, or Pho Nha Chung. If you are coming from the direction of Ho Hoan Kiem, go along Le Thai To Street from south to north until it forks into two. The street on the left fork is Pho Hang Trong. A short distance from the fork is a T-junction on the left side. That is Nha Tho Street. St Joseph's Cathedral is located at the end of this street.
Author by Art Hotel Hanoi