Moving 120 kilometers south of Hanoi, the land of Kim Son near Tam Coc Ninh Binh is really sought after by many people to see a unique architectural complex that is considered the “catholic ancient capital” in Vietnam. With an overall area of nearly 3,000 square meters, the church complex was built during 34 years. The architect of this work is Father Tran Luc (real name Tran Thiem) also known as Uncle Sau. In 1862, on the basis of a thorough study of the history and position of the land, Mr. Sau decided to choose Kim Son, Ninh Binh as the place to build works exclusively for Catholics. In 1865, Father Tran Luc began the work of finding and collecting raw materials. By 1875, the work was officially started.
According to recorded documents
According to recorded documents, the construction process was very laborious and was done entirely by hand. The building materials for the complex are mainly stone (blue stone, jade stone) and ironwood. In order to have raw materials, people have to transport stone hundreds of kilometers by road and waterway from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An to this place. Stone slabs weighing tens of tons are cut, sawed and split by artisans combined with sugarcane oil mixed with lime to create each work in the relic complex near Tam Coc Ninh Binh. By 1899, the work was officially completed. Right from the first appearance, the wide lake surface reflects the church bell tower, shimmering an image of a village pond with a familiar communal house roof.
There is no direct entrance to the large Western-style gate. A curve by the lake leading to the hip courtyard reminds us of a type of entrance of Ngoc Son Temple or Tran Quoc Pagoda. The courtyards created by the distance between the main church and the auxiliary churches, the winding path leading to the stone church… make the magnificence of the main church not threaten the surrounding space but warm up the psyche. spiritual refuge. On the vertical axis of the main church, a courtyard suddenly appeared, which in my opinion is unique in the architectural layout of the church near Tam Coc Ninh Binh. The courtyard lightens, making the long church block not monotonous. It is also a tropical imprint and has a hint of Vietnamese architecture.
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