Built between 1877 and 1883, Notre Dame Cathedral enlivens the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s government quarter, facing Dong Khoi. A brick, neo-Romanesque church with 40m-high square towers tipped with iron spires, the Catholic cathedral is named after the Virgin Mary. Interior walls are inlaid with devotional tablets and some stained glass survives.
Notre Dame Cathedral’s red bricks arrived in Vietnam from Marseille, and Bishop Lefevre himself laid the first stone for the construction of the basilica on 28th of March in 1863.
At the time when the church was constructed, it was the most beautiful sacral building in the French colonies, not only a religious flagship, but also imposing the French influence in Indochina. The vivid, red bricks retain their color until today. Back then they were unique and marveled upon by the locals.
Broken tiles and bricks have been replaced with local material from Vietnam.
English-speaking staff dispense tourist information from 9am to 11am Monday to Saturday. If the front gates are locked, try the door on the side facing the Reunification Palace.