Phat Diem Cathedral - Secret of 130 years old stone - Ninh Binh

Phat Diem Cathedral is one of the most beautiful Cathedral complexes in Vietnam. This was recognized as National Cultural and Historic Sites in 1988. It also considers the Vietnamese Catholic capital.

1. Located and History of Phat Dien Cathedral

1.2. Located.

Phat Diem Cathedral is located in Phat Dien town - Kim Son district - Ninh Binh province, about 120 km south of Hanoi. This is a very large area with 3000 square meters.

1.2. History.

Phat Diem Cathedral is built by priest Father Tran Luc or Cu Sau (Vietnamese) entirely of stone and wood, built from1875 and was completed in 1898 with many difficulties and rudimentary working facilities. Thousands of tons of stone, some weighing up to 20 tons, wood, etc., are transported from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, and other places away very far from Ninh Binh.
August 1972, the Cathedral was bombed, resulting in the collapse of its entire west wall. Then it's restored after 1975.


phat dien cathedral

Overview of the Cathedral 

1.3. Unique architecture

Although it is a Catholic work, its unique architecture is model after the traditional Vietnamese temple architecture with countless curved bow-shaped roofs.

phat dien cathedral ninh binh

Curved bow-shaped roofs similar to other temples in Vietnam 

 Visitors can see an image of Jesus, the cross, the rosary, or the gods' images, combined with the idea of the lotus or sacred animal’s symbol of Vietnamese cultures such as dragons, unicorns, tortoises, and phoenixes.

phat diem cathedral unique architecture

Picture of a cross (symbol of Catholicism) lying on a lotus flower (the national flower of Vietnam)

Phat Diem Cathedral complex includes one big cathedral and five small churches (one built entirely of natural stone), Phuong Dinh (bell tower), ponds, and three artificial stone caves.

Phuong Dinh is the most significant highlight in this religious community, all using green stone. The first floor is the largest area, consisting of three floors 25 meters high and 21 meters wide. The top has a bell weighing 2 tons, 1.9 m high. If standing from this position, visitors can surround all surroundings.

Besides that, have one small cathedral call the Heart of Mary. It was first built in 1883, has a length of 15.30m, a width of 8.50m, and a height of 6m.


phat dien cathedral heart mary 

Heart of Mary (Vietnameses - Trai Tim Duc Me) 

We can say that Phat Diem Cathedral complex combines a harmonious and subtle blend of Western church architecture and traditional Eastern architecture. Catholics bring faith to people, but the architectural style, worship space bearing the image of the communal house, the temple, which has been ingrained into the subconscious of Asians in general and Vietnamese in particular.

Bringing Peace and protection is also a symbol of the encounter between Catholicism and the religious traditions of the Vietnamese people.

Phat Diem cathedral is also an attractive tourist destination for domestic and international tourists coming to Ninh Binh. Besides many famous destinations in Ninh Binh, such as Hoa Luu ancient capital - Tam Coc - Bai Dinh pagoda or Trang An.

>>> Read more Ninh Binh one day tours with the best prices, services, and itinerary

2. Phat Diem Cathedral mass times

  • Sunday: 5:00 - 9:30 - 16:00

  • Daily: 5:00 - 17:30 - 19:00

2.1. Some tips for visitor

Visitors should be quiet, not sit or step on the statues.
Kim Son also has a lot of souvenirs and specialty gifts. After visiting you can buy for friends and family.
Do not forget to visit and take photos at Phat Diem Tile Bridge - the bridge used to be printed on Vietnam's postage stamps. 


phat diem tile bridge

Phat Diem Tile Bridge

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Go Viet Trip hope that this article will help you understand more about Ninh Binh if you need more help. Please feel free to contact us: Email: or hotline +84968667589. We are guarantee about quality and prices. Get a full refund if you do not feel happy with our services.


Author Hoan Nguyen

He has over 10 years of experience working in the tourism sector and operator. He has traveled to many places in Vietnam and around the world.

Photos: Internet


author hoan
My name is Hoan and I come from Hanoi, with more than 10 years working in the tourism industry (both as a tour guide then tour operator). I am very proud to say that I can give you the best advice for your trip to beautiful Vietnam.

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