Accompanying our delegation that day was architect Tran Trung Duong, A.A.Partners Company, based in Ho Chi Minh City. Architect Duong said: The reason Phat Diem church is studied by many famous architects in the world is because this work is very special. According to the design of ancient Vietnamese houses, the foundation is usually low to avoid storms, but Phat Diem church has a very high foundation. At the time of construction, the area of Phat Diem church near Tam Coc Ninh Binh was only an alluvial ground, a few hundred meters from the sea, so the reinforcement of the foundation was very important. Yet, over the course of hundreds of years, this cathedral still stands firm in the face of storms, as if challenging hard-working architects to learn.
Architect Duong analyzed:…
Architect Duong analyzed: In Western architectural churches, the bell usually has a pendulum to pull the bell, while the bell in Phat Diem stone church near Tam Coc Ninh Binh is knocked with a wooden body. In some ancient Asian architectural works, bells are often accompanied by drums and are arranged according to the principle of “left hand bell, right hand drum”. In Phuong Dinh Phat Diem, there are also bells and drums, but the layout is creatively applied to suit Catholic churches. Therefore, the bell (yang) is placed on the upper floor, and the drum (yin) is placed on the lower floor.
At the cathedral, Father F.X Huy said that this work was built in 1891 with the official name of the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. Inside the church, there are 52 supporting columns, arranged into 6 rows, dividing the space of the church into 9 compartments. The walls at the sanctuary are made of wood, elaborately and delicately carved, and painted with gilded paint. The main altar is made of stone, which is also meticulously carved. In front of the main altar, there are 6 stone slabs sunk on the floor, where 6 bishops are buried.
According to Father F.X Huy…
According to Father F.X Huy, it would be remiss to go to Phat Diem church near Tam Coc Ninh Binh without visiting the Church of the Heart of Our Lady, also known as the stone church. This work is considered the “jewel” of the Phat Diem church complex, from the rafter columns, the walls are made entirely of green stone taken from Nhoi mountain to Thanh Hoa. “The altar of Our Lady inside the church is made of stone, but under the skillful sculpting hands of the artisans, the stone has turned into chrysanthemums, lotuses, pine trees, phoenixes… extremely soft. and alive,” said Father F.X Huy.
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