PHAT DIEM CATHEDRAL
Phat Diem Cathedral is one of Vietnamese architectural masterpieces, covering over two hectares (five acres) and consisting of a lake, a grand Cathedral with five separate side chapels, three artificial grottoes, and a majestic bell tower named Phuong Dinh.
Of special interest for the visitor to this particular Catholic Church, is its unique style of architecture, which resembles a Buddhist pagoda, characterized by several tiers of overhanging curved roofs.
The building of Phat Diem Cathedral was the work of Father Tran Luc, more popularly known as Father Six, the then parish priest of Phat Diem, and was accomplished in twenty four years (1875-1899). Phat Diem was a simple parish, eventually becoming the seat of the new diocese in 1901. Doubtless to say, had Phat Diem Cathedral been built by a European missionary, it would probably resemble most other Catholic churches of the time. Instead, it has become one of the most uniquely important churches ever to be built in Asia in the Far-Eastern architecture.