Mountain church in a coastal city

February 5, 2010

Nestled on the peak of a small hill in the center of the central coast city of Nha Trang, Chanh Toa Church, or Nui (Mountain) Church, is an imposing architecture, . . .

 A view of Nui Church in Nha Trang City.
The church started construction in 1928 and was completed in 1933 by a French Catholic priest named Louis Vallet (1846-1945). At that time, the priest used 500 bombs to level the mountain. The church boasts elegant Western décor and its architecture is a combination of ancient and modern styles. All walls, roofs and pillars are cement.

The church also arouses curiosity by its bronze bell that was cast in France and the bell-tower which is 32 meters high and striking with a large watch which has four faces toward the four directions.

There are two paths leading to the church. The first one in front of the church has 53 stone steps, starting from Thai Nguyen Street, and the second is a stone path from the city square to the yard behind the church. In front of the church is a cave with a statute of Mother Maria where a lot of Catholic followers and visitors come to pray.

The church motif makes people think about a citadel with ramparts or a castle in ancient Roman times with naked stone walls, arches along the corridor and glass windows decorated with Western style patterns.

Seen from afar, most people think the church was built entirely of stone called da che, a kind of solid stone available everywhere in Khanh Hoa Province. That’s why the church is also called Stone Church. This kind of stone is often used to pave roads and yards.

The church is a familiar destination for tourists to the city, especially photographers and film makers.

VietNamNet/SGT

 

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