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French saints watch over Vietnam’s Christ the King Cathedral

Diocese of Nha Trang French saints watch over Vietnam’s Christ the King Cathedral

Christ the King Cathedral in Nha Trang of south-central Vietnam adds to the jewels in a coastal city famed for beautiful beaches, unique delicacies, cultural diversity, and historic architectures.

The cathedral is in the proximity of Long Son Pagoda in the city known for harmonious coexistence between Buddhists and Christians.

The church was built in 1928-1933 under the leadership of Paris Foreign Mission Society (MEP) priest Father Louis Vallet. French architect Nesty oversaw the construction of the cathedral mainly using reinforced concrete and split rocks.

This cubic-shaped church has higher steps, leaf-shaped doors and windows, and domes having bent and pointed shapes. Its stained-glass windows decorated with paintings of French Catholic saints including St. Joan of Arc and St. John Marie Vianney, the patron of parish priests.

The cathedral has a bell tower with a cross on the top and four clocks beneath the cross in four directions. The bell was manufactured in renowned French bell factory, Bourdon Carillond.

Vietnam’s tourism department has listed this Gothic-style church as one of top ten cathedrals in the country.

The cathedral is the seat of Nha Trang Diocese. It gained the status of a diocese in 1960, during the tenure of MEP missionary Bishop Marcel Piquet. Born in Paris in 1888, Bishop Piquet was ordained a priest in 1912. Shortly afterwards he came to Vietnam as a missionary. Bishop Piquet served in Qui Nohn and Nha Trang for most of his life. He breathed his last in Nha Trang in 1966, six years after it became a diocese thanks to his efforts.

Nha Trang city is well known for its biennial Sea festival. The city attracts tourists and pilgrims, both Buddhists and Christians who pay a visit to religious worship places like Christ the King cathedral and Long Son Pagoda.

Nha Trang might be more than 1,200 kilometers from capital Hanoi, but thanks to its religious landmarks like Christ the King cathedral it is worth a visit.

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