Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Churches in Hanoi

I visited two churches in Hanoi. There aren't many non-Buddhist / Taoist places of worship in Hanoi, for obvious reasons. 

One was St. Joseph's Cathedral, the oldest in the city. It was built by the French in 1886 supposedly styled after the famous Notre Dame in Paris. It's located in the midst of a bustling shopping area near Hoan Kiem Lake with a number of cafes, restaurants, shops surrounding it. 

The facade of the cathedral looked unimpressive even though it was of imposing proportions. But once I entered the cathedral, it was a whole different matter. Richly carved altars and beautiful stained glass peppered the interiors. 

The imposing facade of St. Joseph's Cathedral

The little square in front of the church with a statue
of Mary & baby Jesus. The inscription reads
'Regina Pacis' (Queen of Peace)

A view from the side - one of the two towers & another statue

Interior of the cathedral

The main altar

An altar on the left side, inside the cathedral

An altar on the right side, inside the cathedral

Beautiful stained glass windows

Some more pretty stained glass

Interesting features outside the cathedral - a mural
depicting scenes from the holy scriptures. Also seen is Vietnam's
ubiquitous jumble of wires. Below: An old, beautiful bonsai.

A pretty French-colonial style building in the cathedral
premises. Probably, the administrative offices and/ or
residence of the officials of the cathedral.

The second was the picturesque Cua Bac Church. It was built in 1932 by the French under the supervision of renowned architect and urban planner Ernest Hébrard.The church is located at the Northern Gate (Cua Bac) of the ancient Thang Long citadel hence its name. Unlike St. Joseph's Cathedral, this church has a prettier exterior but a simpler, roomier interior full of light and space.

The church facade, bright & welcoming

Interior - simple & calming

The main altar

Stained glass of Biblical figures in the church.
There were a only a few as compared to
St. Joseph's Cathedral.

Play of light & shadow on the pristine white walls

One of the murals in the Stations of the Cross

Grotto surrounded by greenery & covered
with flowering vines 

Two views of the prominent window in the church facade

More ageless bonsai

No comments:

Post a Comment