Author: Naveen Marasinghe
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The Notre Dame Basilica in the Vietnamese city of Saigon is yet another imprint of French colonialism in this historic city. This cathedral located in downtown Saigon was established by the French colonists for religious service for their own nationals. The cathedral stands at over 58 meters with two tall bell towers flanking it from either side.
The cathedral was established following the French capture of Cochinchina and Saigon in the middle of the 19th century. The first church that was built was at the site of an abandoned Vietnamese pagoda, Bishop Leferve who was in charge of the construction decided to turn the pagoda into a church. Because the first church was too small, a larger one was built on the banks of the Charner canal and was known as the Saigon church.
This church which was built mostly of wood was damaged by termites and subsequently a design competition was organized to create a new cathedral. The winning design by architect J. Bourad was chosen, his design blended modern revised Roman style elements of Gothic architecture. Later two tall bell towers with bronze bells were added, as was a statue of Pigneau de Behaine which was installed in the flower garden. However the crowing glory of the cathedral was the Peaceful Notre Dame statue that was built with Roman granite. This spawned the cathedral’s new name- the Notre Dame Basilica.
Many legends and stories surround this cathedral which sees many faithful devotees flocking to its doors. In 2005, the statue was reported as shedding tears which attracted thousands of people to witness the supposed miracle. According to reports the tears were shed down the right cheek of the Virgin Mary statue.
Located in a busy part of the city, a Saigon hotel can be found nearby with ease. A hotel in Saigon that offers great access to places of interest as well comfortable accommodation is recommended for travelers.
About the Author:
Naveen Marasinghe is an Online Marketing Executive at eMarketingEye which is a search engine marketing agency that offers integrated Internet marketing solutions and specializes in serving the online travel and hospitality industry. (http://www.emarketingeye.com/ )
Article Source: ArticlesBase.com – The Beautiful Notre Dame in Saigon
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