Phat Diem Stone Church – The Catholic Capital of Vietnam

The church complex near Tam Coc Ninh Binh is a combination of the architecture of communal houses and temples of the East and Gothic architecture of the West to create an architectural complex such as ponds and lakes, the chapel of Our Lady. Not built in the towering or massive architecture like the churches in Hai Hau area, Nam Dinh, Phat Diem church is built in the direction of communal houses, pagodas and temples. The church is designed in the shape of a curved roof like a pagoda, next to it is a cross like a Buddha sitting on a lotus pedestal.

In the early 19th century, this land was still very wild, full of mud and weeds. In 1828, there was a talented mandarin named Nguyen Cong Tru. This very famous monk was sent by the Hue court to the North with the title “Dinh Dien Su” to explore that new area. He is a man with great merits to have established Tien Hai (Thai Binh) and Kim Son near Tam Coc Ninh Binh. These are two rich and bustling districts worthy of the name “golden mountain, silver sea”.

Phat Diem stone church complex was built in Kim Son land by priest Peter Tran Luc (commonly known as Sau, 1825-1899) presided over the construction. Mr. Sau has been the parish priest of Phat Diem since 1965. During his 34 years as the parish priest of Phat Diem, Mr. Sau has taken care of humane education, as well as the moral life for parishioners. Especially with a very wide view when building Phat Diem church complex near Tam Coc Ninh Binh. The materials of the church were built using the best materials at that time such as ironwood stone and this place was also known as the “Catholic capital of Vietnam”.

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