St. Joseph Cathedral (Hanoi Church)

Saint Joseph Cathedral (Hanoi Cathedral), Hanoi's oldest church, is a Roman Catholic cathedral constructed in the neo-gothic style more than a century ago.


The cathedral was built in 1882 when French troops invaded Hanoi, and it was completed in 1886. The cathedral and the Nha Chung district were built on ground that once belonged to the Bao Thien pagoda, which was constructed during the Ly dynasty.

The cathedral's architecture, which includes domes, is modeled after the Gothic style and design of the Paris Cathedral. It measures 64.5 meters in length, 20.5 meters in width, and has two 31.5-meter-high bell towers. Though the cathedral's outside, from the doors to the beautiful window glass to the religious paintings for adornment, is designed in a Western manner, the cathedral's main interior is decorated in a Vietnamese style with two traditional colors: yellow and red. The statue of Mother Maria stands in front of the cathedral.


In 1887, the cathedral hosted the inaugural Christmas service. Since then, the cathedral has always been packed on weekends and during religious festivals like Christmas, with hundreds of people, both Christians and non-Christians.

Today, the area surrounding the cathedral is always busy with hundreds of locals and tourists drinking, conversing, and watching the street, taking advantage of the gorgeous architecture and convenient location in the heart of the city.


Nha Chung Street is currently known as "Lemon Tea Street," a favorite hangout for Hanoi's youth, with eye-catching souvenir stores and Western-style eateries. It is not only a holy place for Christian couples to celebrate their weddings, but it is also a wonderful location for non-religious grooms and brides to take beautiful wedding photos.

How to get to Saint Joseph Cathedral

Take Hang Gai Street from Hoan Kiem Lake and continue until you reach Ly Quoc Su Street on the left. If you walk past Ly Quoc Su, you'll come to Nha Chung, which is connected to Ly Quoc Su by the cathedral.

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