The main interior inside the cathedral is decorated according to the traditional folk art (Photo: VNP)
Ha Noi Cathedral always ranks first on the list of 7 famous cathedrals in Ha Noi because of its old typical architecture and serene beauty.
Ha Noi cathedral with original name of St. Joseph's Cathedral was situated west of Hoan Kiem Lake in a small square within the Old Quarter. It serves as the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Viet Nam.
The oldest church in Ha Noi was built by the Frenchcolonial government in Indochina in the Neo-Gothic styleresembling Notre Dame in Paris. The cathedral was built with baked bricks and its walls were covered by Boi paper. It is 64.5m in length, 20.5m in width with two bell towers 31.5m tall. Looking through the cathedral, from the front doors, at the colorful window glass, to the religious paintings it follows a Western style. The main interior is decorated in a Vietnamesestyle with the two coloursof yellow and red. Outside, in front of the cathedral is the statue of the Mother Mary.
The special thing is that the space around Ha Noi Cathedral is an ideal meeting place for local residents in Ha Noi, especially youngsters, to get away from the bustle and noise of the city. When it gets darker, groups of friends flock to the space to have fun. Here, one can feast and drink with his or her friends in this open space. Young people have gone to the cathedral because the church view and tranquil street corners will fuel their romantic liaisons. Others regard it as a playground for chatting or a stage for music performances or enjoying “lemon tea” and other street specialties of Ha Noi, such as long cheese sticks and grilled fermented pork. The church is not only the holy place for Christian couples to hold their wedding, but also a great venue for non-religious grooms and brides to take nice wedding photographs.
Visiting the capital of Ha Noi, one should not miss a chance to see Ha Noi Cathedral.