St Joseph Cathedral Tavel Guide
St Joseph Cathedral is a church on Nha Tho Street with the architectural style described as resembling Notre Dame de Paris, it is the oldest church in Hanoi. The late 19th-century Gothic Revival church serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi to nearly 4 million Catholics in the country.
Built with stone slabs and in brick with concrete facing, the façade consists of two towers, square in shape, rising to a height of 103 ft and each tower fitted with five bells. The cathedral was built in a Gothic Revival style. The twin bell towers have often drawn comparisons to the ones at Notre Dame de Paris. The exterior walls of the church are made of granite stone slabs. The cathedral's stained glass windows were produced in France. The ceiling is rib vaulted like those seen in medieval Europe. The nave is weathered and the sanctuary looks shiny and is made of gilt trimmed wood.
The cathedral conducts mass several times during the day. For Sunday evening mass at 6:00 PM, large crowds spill out into the streets. The prayer hymns are broadcast and Catholics who are unable to enter the cathedral congregate in the street and listen to hymns.