Phat Diem Cathedral

This is Phat Diem Cathedral, built in the late 1800s in Vietnam. The cathedral complex also includes a number of freestanding chapels.

Here’s a one-minute video of a stroll around one of the complex’s courtyards:

Here’s Lonely Planet’s description.

Here’s Wikipedia’s page.

Here’s Flickr.

And Google Image Search.

And here’s a Sino-Vietnamese bas relief of an incense-scattering angel, crowned like a Deva King, with Genesis 28:17 carved overhead in Latin. Pretty Catholic, no?

Though for what it’s worth, my father, whose judgment I am inclined to trust in this matter, considers the Vietnamese priest who masterminded this cathedral complex — Fr Tran Luc aka ‘Pere Six’ — to have been a pro-French traitor. (Fr Tran Luc’s name comes up in this Vietnam Studies Group email thread on Vietnam-Vatican relations, which provides a few more facts and a lot more opinions.) If that’s so, then Phat Diem is a field of wheat and tares. But what excellent wheat.


  1. Jonathan Webb says

    Lovely. Thanks.

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    Oh wow. Love is terrible as an army with banners.

  3. Gorgeous! As you say, terrible in a good way.

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