Monday, March 9, 2015

Soul of Saigon..Notre-Dame Cathedral

Not every Sunday, but most Sundays, you can find me
in the 9:30am English mass at Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral. 

The official name is
Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
and for many, this is the soul of Saigon.

If you travel to Ho Chi Minh City, you will most likely
find it on your list of  "must see" attractions.

The cathedral was designed 
by the French architect Jules Bourard
and constructed between 1863-1870. 

It is a space and place 
with a beauty of it's own.

 It is just as interesting to observe life 
around the cathedral as it is to observe from within.

Hang about any day of the week
 and you are sure to see couples 
posing alongside the cathedral 
for wedding photos.

The photos are a planned event.

The wedding follows on another occasion,
allowing the bride and groom to share photos on the day.

Tourists flock to see the cathedral 
and the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
standing in a garden outside of the cathedral.

In 2005, the statue was reported to have shed tears,
creating pandemonium on the surrounding streets.

The "tear" was said to have flowed down the right
cheek of the statues face. The incident was
dismissed by the Catholic Church in Vietnam 
and that was the end of that.

Still...if you visit, 
you might want to check...just in case. 

While you are there...look around
for those hidden gems.

When life happens quietly and patiently.

If you are lucky....while taking in the mass and
wonderful music that accompanies it,
you just might find yourself behind 
a budding Michelangelo.

From me to you, a glimpse inside and out
of the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral.
The soul of Saigon.

 Photos taken by me, inside and out 
of the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Jeanne Henriques


  1. The Notre Dame cathedral was one of the first places I went to my first time in Vietnam in 1969. I was Catholic then, and I went to Mass there every Sunday until I left Saigon and went “up country” to Cam Ranh Bay. The surroundings were much different then, the cathedral a little more run down, but inside it was a calm and peaceful place. Every time I’ve returned, I’ve gone there at least once and admired how it has prevailed through more than a century and continued to be a place of calm and peace. Thanks for the beautiful photos.

  2. What a gorgeous building. I love to visit cathedrals - the older, the better. There is something so special about them. Thanks for sharing "yours".

  3. Mrs. Abstract and I have visited only the Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal and Quebec and nowhere else. I would love to visit the one Paris and now in Saigon. We also go to 9:30 morning mass, of course not in Saigon, but here in Napa.

  4. The basilica is an amazing place to spend a walking time when in Saigon, to be honest when i fist stepped to Vietnam in 1994 the first place ive seen was the Notre dame cathedral. this is an absolute for any new comer, a soul of city, love it and thank you for sharing it.
    vietnam tours