St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi – a quaint beauty locating in the middle of the Capital

For the Capital’s Catholics, hardly anyone doesn’t know about this Cathedral. Nowadays, it’s not only open to the Catholics for ceremonial purposes, but also attracting tourists of all backgrounds.

The history of St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi

Not until the late 1800s was the Bao Thien Pagoda destroyed, and then a small market was established. Up till 1884 – 1888, the construction of the Cathedral was initiated by the Catholic Church, and was named St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The inauguration was held at Christmas in 1887.

St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi is now located at 40 Nha Chung, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

The unique architecture of St. Joseph's Cathedral

It’s really easy to get to the Cathedral from Hoan Kiem lake through Nha Chung street. The Mother Mary and Baby Jesus statue stands out in the middle of the spacious square of the church, giving a strong first impression to the visitors.

The church has an immense charm on its visitors, especially ones who have never been here before. Designed in the European Medieval Gothic style, the Cathedral has a curved dome simulating that of the Notre-Dame de Paris, facing the sky.

The materials used for constructing this Cathedral is mainly earthenware and coarse paper (for the walls). The Cathedral is 64,5m tall, 20,5m wide, has 2 bell towers with the height of 31,5m and giant columns supporting the four corners.

The Cathedral possesses an ancient, reminiscent beauty, with timeworn layers of quicklime covered in moss. However, inside this age-old construction is the palatial architecture that is worth your admiration and respect.

The Cathedral is divided into 3 parts: the welcome lounge – for musicians and bands to welcome and entertain guests, the ceremonial area, and the sanctuary for ceremonies. In the sanctuary lie the tombs of Cardinal Trinh Nhu Khue, Cardinal Phan Dinh Tung, and Cardinal Trinh Van Can. There's also a statue of Virgin Mary in the sanctum, spreading her arms to hold her children, giving visitors a strange feeling of warmth and safety. Activities held in St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi

There are 2 Masses on Saturdays and 7 Masses on Sundays every week. Annually, on March 19th, the Holy Communion for Patron Saint of the Archdiocese in Hanoi. The people living near the church often hear music and hymns coming from inside on Masses days. Absolution sessions also take place here. The atmosphere becomes more vibrant and crowded in times of Christmas and Easter. These two are the most important holidays for Catholics and therefore are lavishly celebrated at St. Joseph’s Cathedral.

If you wish to admire the magnificence of St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi, we highly recommend that you should. Visiting this Cathedral, you will not only get to appreciate the great, ancient and unique architecture, but also widen your knowledge about the history of this attraction as well as of Vietnam, and hopefully, to find peace, warmth, and serenity in this sacred place.