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Discover a centuries old gothic treasure in Vietnam

By Quynh Tran  &nbspJune 3, 2018 | 02:34 pm GMT+7


The Mang Lang Church in the south central province of Phu Yen, a haven for Catholics, is also an architectural gem.

More than two centuries and two decades ago, a venerable, gothic structure took shape in south central Vietnam.

Today, it stands tall and serene in Phu Yen Province, quietly offering spiritual shelter to devout Catholics and others.

The Mang Lang Church was built by French missionary Father Joseph Lacassagne in 1892, almost three centuries after the first visit by Portuguese Catholic missionaries to Vietnam.

The little known Gothic architectural gem is one of many beautiful churches that serve Vietnamese Catholics. Vietnam is home to the fifth largest Catholic population in Asia.

Despite being one of Vietnams oldest Catholic structures, this gothic beauty remains little known to tourists.

Despite being one of Vietnam’s oldest Catholic structures, this gothic beauty remains little known to tourists.

Built on 5,000 square meters of land, the church in An Thach Commune, 35 kilometers north of the Tuy Hoa City, capital of Phu Yen, took 15 years to build.

Built on 5,000 square meters of land, the church in An Thach Commune, 35 kilometers north of the Tuy Hoa City, capital of Phu Yen, took 15 years to build.

The gray church features twin bell towers. Its original vaulted ceiling collapsed after a storm in 1924 and had been replaced by a flat, wood-paneled one.

The gray church features twin bell towers. Its original vaulted ceiling collapsed after a storm in 1924 and had been replaced by a flat, wood-paneled one.

Behind the churchs façade.

Behind the church’s façade.

The church stands in the native village of Andrew of Phu Yen, who was beheaded in 1644 at the age of 19 for refusing to abjure the faith. Since Andrew was declared Patron of the youth, the church has become an important shrine for all Catholics.

The churchs interior embraces Romanesque traditional features,  including clustered columns, stained glass windows, and pointed arches.

The church’s interior embraces Romanesque traditional features, including clustered columns, stained glass windows, and pointed arches.

The walls are painted in white and richly decorated with carvings.

The walls are painted in white and richly decorated with carvings.

Mang Lang Church stores the first book to be printed in the modern Vietnamese script called Cathechismus in octo dies.

Mang Lang Church stores the first book to be printed in the modern Vietnamese script called Cathechismus in octo dies.

Printed in Latin and Vietnamese (Quốc ngữ) in 1651, it was written by the father of the countrys modern language, Alexander de Rhodes. The same year, he published the first trilingual Vietnamese-Portuguese-Latin dictionary based on work by earlier Portuguese missionaries.

Printed in Latin and Vietnamese (Quốc ngữ) in 1651, it was written by the father of the country’s modern language, Alexander de Rhodes. The same year, he published the first trilingual Vietnamese-Portuguese-Latin dictionary based on work by earlier Portuguese missionaries.


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