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The allure of churches in northern Vietnam (pics)

The allure of churches in northern Vietnam (pics)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 19:41 GMT+7

Two northern Vietnamese provinces are home to several impressive churches, including one in ruins, which pose an irresistible appeal to tourists.

Tuoi Tre News offers readers glimpses of a few such churches, which have been a source of pride for locals in Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh Provinces over the years.

One of them is Phat Diem Stone Church, which nestles on a 22-hectare plot in Kim Son District, Ninh Binh, located some 120 kilometers south of Hanoi.

The church, built entirely from stones and wood, is considered one of the country’s most magnificent.

Built in 1875 and basically completed in 1898, the church is known for its ingenious fusion of architectural features from Europe’s Catholic churches and Vietnamese pagodas.

The construction of the visually-striking structure was overseen by a priest and local parishioners for over 30 years.

Local authorities are currently working on a dossier on Phat Diem Stone Church which will be submitted for UNESCO recognition as a world heritage site, local media said.

Part of the Phat Diem Stone Church, which nestles in Ninh Binh Province's Kim Son District, located some 120 kilometers south of Hanoi. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Several more gorgeous churches are found in Nam Dinh, which neighbors Ninh Binh.

Nam Dinh boasts among the most churches and cathedrals in the country.

Built in 1885, Bui Chu Church, located in Xuan Truong District, has stood the test of time.

The church, which measures 78, 22, and 15 meters in length, width and height respectively, is a venue for many of the province’s important events.

Quan Phuong Church, in Hai Hau District, has put on a new coat of yellow paint and glittered with its glass paintings.

The church is also a sight that tourists should not miss.

Quan Phuong Church, located in Hai Hau District in the northern province of Nam Dinh. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Another can’t-miss spectacle, Phu Nhai Church, which is situated in Xuan Truong District, has undergone five major renovations since it was built in the 18th century.

The structure currently has two towers which stand around 44 meters tall each.

Similarly, Thanh Danh Church, also in Xuan Truong District, boasts several reliefs which feature tales from the Bible.

Meanwhile, visitors to Hung Nghia Church, in Hai Hau District, will marvel at its castle-like structure adorned with refined, elaborate details.

The edifice was built in 1927 and renovated in 2000.

Another of the province’s spectacular scenic spots is Hai Ly Ruined Church, which is situated in Hai Hau District.

The ruin, now standing forlornly on a local beach, holds an inexplicable allure to tourists and photographers.

The remains are what is left of Trai Tim (Heart) Church, which lost its foundation to a storm in 2005.

Priests and parishioners had no choice but to abandon the devastated church and build another one as a replacement.

A close-up view of Hai Ly Ruined Church in Nam Dinh Province's Hai Hau District. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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