The 100-year-old Hanh Thong Tay church in Ho Chi Minh city’s Go Vap district attracts many visitors at the weekend with its Byzantine style beauty.
The 100-year-old Hanh Thong Tay church in Ho Chi Minh city’s Go Vap district attracts many visitors at the weekend. VNA/VNS Photo
A French contractor took three years to build the church with a fund from Le Phat An, uncle of empress Nam Phuong, the last empress of Vietnam, and son of Le Phat Dat, also known as Huyen Sy, one of the four richest persons in Cochinchina at the time.
The church’s design is of Byzantine style, modeled after the old church, the Basilica of Vitale, in Ravenna, Italy. Byzantine architecture incorporates a dome roof and many windows.
The main dome is 30 metres high. The Byzantine influence makes Hanh Thong Tay church different from the vast majority of churches in Vietnam, which are often built in a Gothic or Roman style.
The 500-square-metre church features intricate reliefs and mosaic paintings on its walls.
The church is also where Le Phat An and his wife were put to rest. Their graves are made of marble with Renaissance style carvings.