Nam Dinh province is known for its many beautiful and ancient catholic churches, you might only have to walk a few kilometers to see a large church with wide dome and high tower located between the villages. Xuan Truong district is located about 20km from Nam Dinh City where there are Diocese of Bui Chu with many religious works, including the famous Phu Nhai church, Bui Chu church. Religious buildings in Nam Dinh are built with a monumental scale, high from 30m to 50m, here the structures are huge, cathedral-size huge, with colonial-style wedding cake décor and bright garish paint.. There are churches that take four to seven years to build.
If you are interested in the architecture of the ancient churches, explore the indigenous culture and local religion, make your trip to Nam Dinh for a tour of the ancient catholic churches in Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh.
Start at Phat Diem and then head west towards Xuong Dien church and the ruined church in the beach in Hai Ly. Head north to Nam Dinh city, you will see churches after grandiose cathedrals rising into the sky. Stop, go inside and explore – the doors are usually open. The experience is surreal.
Phat Diem cathedral
Phat Diem Cathedral (also known as Phat Diem Stone Church) is located in Phat Diem town, Kim Son district in Ninh Binh, about 120km south of Hanoi. It’s a complex consisting of many Catholic works and shrines of about 22ha. Phat Diem Cathedral was built between 1875 and 1899 with four roofs and six sets of iron wooden pillars, and consists of a number of ponds, lakes, churches, and artificial caves.
Xương Điền Church
Xuong Dien Church is located in the Giao Thuy, Hai Hau with a tile roof and wooden ceiling, an architectural style of Vietnamese Buddhist temples. The combination of European-Asian style makes the building become familiar.
Hai Ly ruined Church
Located near the Xuong Dien Church, Hai Ly ruined church is a ruined work, only the outer skeleton and some old brick walls. However, it is the ruins and deserted of the church which attract people to Hai Ly beach.
Nghia Hung shrine
You can’t help being surprised to see the parish church Hung Nghia shrine by the shape of the magnificent castle with finest details. This church is in Hai Hung Commune, Hai Hau District, built in 1927 and newly renovated since 2000.
Phu An Church
Phu An church in Bui Chu diocese with quite unique architectural style. Throughout history and wars, the work was severely degraded and lowered to build a new church, more spacious in 2007.
Thanh Danh (St Jean) Parish. It is famous for carved murals related to the classic reference in the Bible.
Kien Lao Church with a length of 75m, 26m wide, 28m high and a 46m high bell tower. On the two sides of the church are lakes and rows of street lights.
Diocese of Bui Chu
The church was built in 1885, after more than 100 years, the Diocese of Bui Chu is still majestic and superficial. With a length of 78m, a width of 22m and 15m high, this church hosts many important events.
The diocese is reportedly Vietnam’s first place where Catholicism was introduced by foreign missionaries in 1533. It is also the cradle of Catholicism in the country. French Bishop Pierre Lambert de la Motte, one of the first two bishops of the Catholic Church in Vietnam, founded the first indigenous congregation of Adorers of the Holy Cross in the diocese in 1670.
Trung Linh Church, 1.5 km from the Diocese of Bui Chu. This church was built in 1928 and it is very beautiful. This is one of the favorite places of couples to take wedding photos.
Phu Nhai Church
Phu Nhai Church was first built in 1866 as a small temple, but was later renovated and expanded. It is considered the biggest church of Gothic architecture in Vietnam, with 30m height, 28m width and 80m length. There are 2 bell towers with 44m height, containing 4 bells. It has statues stuck on the surface of the walls or the doors.