JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Vietnam’s 135-yo cathedral demolished to make way for replacement

Friday, August 07, 2020, 15:20 GMT+7
Vietnam’s 135-yo cathedral demolished to make way for replacement
The two belfries of Bui Chu Cathedral are demolished in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

The historic Bui Chu Cathedral in northern Vietnam, built in the 19th century, is considered one of Vietnam’s architectural gems. Now, it is regarded as a danger to its congregation.

August 1 saw the cathedral’s two 25-meter belfries, the last sections of the building still standing, demolished as workers busily began clearing the building's foundations. 

Constructed in 1885 during French colonialism, Bui Chu Cathedral serves many of the 412,000 Catholics who call the northern province of Nam Dinh home.

It is the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in Vietnam, boasting nearly half a century of Catholic history in the country since the first wave of European missionaries arrived in 1533. 

The last belfry of Bui Chu Cathedral is knocked off in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

The last belfry of Bui Chu Cathedral is knocked off in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

Decades of use with little maintenance had left the church in a state of disrepair, posing a risk of collapse and raising safety concerns amongst churchgoers.

After years of consideration, it was decided in 2016 by a council of priests and local followers that the current church had to be dismantled to make space for a newer, safer construction.   

The last belfry of Bui Chu Cathedral is knocked off in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Video: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

While the new church will bear striking similarities to the original, only the 17-metric-ton sculpture from the top of the building will be saved and placed in front of the new cathedral.  

No other materials or architectural details of the old church will be re-used in the new church.

Local children watch the demolition of the two belfries at Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

Local children watch the demolition of the two belfries at Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

An excavator destroys a belfry of Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

An excavator destroys a belfry of Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

The last belfry of Bui Chu Cathedral is knocked off in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

The last belfry of Bui Chu Cathedral bites the dust in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

The leftover of a belfry of Bui Chu Cathedral after being knocked from atop the church in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

The leftover of a belfry of Bui Chu Cathedral after being knocked from atop the church in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A large cloud of dust builds after the last belfry of Bui Chu Cathedral was destoryed in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

A large cloud of dust builds after the last belfry of Bui Chu Cathedral was destroyed in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

The leftovers of Bui Chu Cathedral after its demolition in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

The leftover of Bui Chu Cathedral after its demolition in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

A 17-metric-ton sculpture remains in the yard of Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

A 17-metric-ton sculpture remains in the yard of Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo: Tien Dang / Tuoi Tre

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Tuoi Tre News

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news