Notre Dame Cathedral sits in a quiet corner of the sizzling downtown of Ho Chi Minh City. Constructed in the 19th century by French colonists, it's peaceful and somber in Gothic and Roman-style that is strangely out of place.
The church has six bronze bells and two bell towers reaching a height of 190 feet. A statue 'Peaceful Notre Dame' installed in 1959 is standing right in the middle of the towers, which gave the name to the cathedral. Materials used to build the church were brought from France. Throughout the war period, there were countless prayers for peace, survival and victory offered here - the church has become an important symbol in Vietnam's contemporary history.
In 2005, a rather mysterious event brought the world's attention to Notre Dame Cathedral: the Virgin Mary statue was said to shed tears, which attracted thousands of visitors to have a look. Though the official source claimed that such phenomenon didn’t exist, many still believe in the magic the statue bears.
Masses are held every Sunday. Pictures of worshippers are not allowed to take when a service is taking place. Popular stops nearby are the War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace. Within short distance you can also reach Jade Emperor Pagoda, History Museum and Ben Thanh Market.
If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-route Vietnam tour, see this 10-Day South Vietnam Tour with Nha Trang Beach.