Located on Bong Mountain, the Nha Trang Cathedral, also known as the Nha Trang Mountain Church, stands proudly at the bustling intersection with its ancient French architectural style. Situated atop Hoang Lan Hill, the Cathedral features a spacious vaulted roof and prominent rose-shaped windows in the characteristic Gothic architectural style, making it a distinctive landmark in the city of Nha Trang. It has always been a spiritual destination for both domestic and international tourists.
Nha Trang Mountain Church – An Unmissable Destination
Every year, Nha Trang city attracts a large number of tourists for sightseeing and relaxation. Besides its famous attractions such as the long white sandy beaches, renowned islands like Hon Tre and Hon Tam with various water activities, Vinpearland Resort, Vung Ro Bay, and Cam Ranh Beach, Nha Trang also offers many cultural and historical sites right within the city.
Where is the Stone Church in Nha Trang?
- Address: 01 Thai Nguyen Street, Phuoc Tan Ward, Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province (At the beginning of Nguyen Trai Street, at the intersection with Thai Nguyen Street, on the top of Hoang Lan Hill).
The Stone Church, officially known as the Christ the King Cathedral, is a Catholic church located at 1 Thai Nguyen Street, Phuoc Tan Ward, Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province. This church is known by several names among the locals, such as Nha Trang Church (as it used to belong to Nha Trang Parish), the Stone Church (due to its construction using stone), the Six-way Church (as it is situated near a busy intersection), and most commonly, the Mountain Church (because it is built on a small hill).
Standing at a height of 12 meters in the city center, the Stone Church in Nha Trang is a popular spot for tourists, filmmakers, and photographers from both within and outside the country. While its official name is Christ the King Cathedral, it is often referred to simply as the Stone Church, Nha Trang Church, or Six-way Church. However, the most common name is still the Mountain Church. This church showcases a unique architectural style with a distinct French influence. It is constructed using concrete mixed with sand and broken bricks, commonly known as “tap-lo” bricks, which are made from cement and crushed stones. From a distance, many mistake the structure to be made of stones, hence the name “Stone Church.”
Means of transportation to Nha Trang Mountain Church.
Since it is located in the city center, getting to Nha Trang Mountain Church is quite easy for tourists. You can visit by motorbike, taxi, bus, or private tour vehicles.
If you want to visit multiple attractions along with Nha Trang Mountain Church, using public transportation may be time-consuming and costly. Therefore, if you wish to combine several destinations with the church visit, you can consider booking a private car service with a driver in Nha Trang from DanangPrivatecar.com’s. With a team of professional drivers with years of serving international tourists, they will provide you with a safe and cost-effective journey.
When was the Nha Trang Mountain Church built?
With the intention of promoting the beautiful Catholic lifestyle in Nha Trang, the priest Louis Vallet (1869 – 1945) devoted himself to the construction of the church. After his passing, his tomb was placed at the foot of the church’s hill.
On September 3, 1928, the construction of the church officially commenced on a small hill called “Bong Mountain.” Hence, the name “Mountain Church” originated. To create a flat surface on the hilltop, approximately 500 artillery shells were used.
The church was entirely built in the Western Gothic architectural style, resembling the churches in Sa Pa and some other locations in Vietnam. A tall bell tower in the middle with three hanging bells serves as a recognizable feature of Western Gothic-style churches.
The unique beauty of the Mountain Church’s architecture in Nha Trang
Church is a beautiful space highly favored by photographers and filmmakers. Couples also choose this place for their wedding photoshoots. The church opens its doors to visitors every day of the week from 8 am and holds preaching sessions in the morning and afternoon.
Exterior architecture of Nha Trang Mountain Church.
The prominent feature of Gothic architecture here is the sweeping, curved vaults that reach up to the sky. The decorative patterns use straight sections arranged harmoniously, creating a simple yet dignified beauty.
The most remarkable part of Chanh Toa Cathedral is the Holy Sanctuary. Passing through the front door, one will encounter a vast, abundant space filled with light. The outstanding feature of Gothic architecture here is the sweeping, curved vaults that reach up to the sky. The decorative patterns use straight sections arranged harmoniously, creating a simple yet dignified beauty. The 14 Stations of the Cross (the suffering of Jesus Christ) are depicted through paintings hanging on the walls. To make the most of the sunlight from both the East and West directions, various colored glasses have been installed in the vaults and rose windows. All of these elements create a breathtaking and gentle scene, softening the solemn atmosphere often found in places of worship. The sacred area is an open space adorned with beautiful and elegant stained glass windows.
Additionally, to optimize the sunlight from both the East and West directions, various colored glasses have been installed. All of these elements create a stunning and gentle scene, softening the solemn atmosphere often found in places of worship.
Along the ascending path, on the right side, there are small niches containing the remains of the deceased, which are integrated into the stone walls. The church has a wide vaulted ceiling, and the rose-shaped windows in the characteristic Gothic architectural style stand out prominently like a jewel in the heart of the city.
Interior architecture of Nha Trang Mountain Church.
Inside the church, there is a spacious and airy area, divided into the holy sanctuary and the tranquil and solemn area behind it.
Although nearly a century old and having weathered many storms, the unique architectural structure of the mountain church has preserved the ancient architectural values. Currently, the church is listed as a historical monument and tourist attraction in Khanh Hoa province.
Chanh Toa Cathedral has been present in Nha Trang for over 80 years. From afar, it resembles an ancient Roman castle. Standing firmly on top of a hill, adorned in a gray robe, this construction remains steadfast and dignified in the face of rain, sun, wind, and mist. For the Catholic community in Nha Trang, Chanh Toa Cathedral holds an immensely significant position as they come here to pray for divine grace. Moreover, many engaged couples choose this place to hold their weddings, symbolizing the blossoming and fulfillment of their love. It is also a beloved destination for tourists visiting Nha Trang – Khanh Hoa. Besides admiring the unique architectural structure, visitors can find moments of comfort and tranquility while gazing upon the dreamy scenery of the coastal town.
See More: Nha Trang Travel Experience – Most Detailed Self-Guided 2023 Instructions
Management of Nha Trang Mountain Church
On July 5, 1957, the Nha Trang Diocese was officially established by separating from the Qui Nhon Diocese, initially as a titular diocese. On November 24, 1960, the Nha Trang Diocese was elevated to a metropolitan diocese. At this time, the Stone Church was officially selected as the main cathedral of the diocese, making Nha Trang parish the main parish.
Viewed from a distance, many mistakenly assume this massive architectural structure is built of cut stones. However, in reality, cut stones are only used for the pathways and yard. The entire walls of the church are constructed with reinforced concrete. Notably, the roof of the side aisles is made of reinforced concrete, while the entire vault of the main prayer area is constructed with bamboo and a steel mesh.
The Nha Trang Mountain Church reflects the distinctive style of Gothic architecture, clearly divided into three parts: the lower part with entrances, the middle part with large round stained glass windows adorned with roses, and the upper part with corridors and two bell towers. The most unique feature of the church is the set of bronze bells hanging in the bell towers. These bells were manufactured and provided by the famous French bell-making company Bourdon Carillond.
Prominent characteristics of Gothic architecture at this location include the vaulted ceilings with graceful curves, spreading wide towards the sky. The decorative motifs consist of straight lines arranged harmoniously, creating a simple yet dignified beauty.
Activities that can be experienced at Nha Trang Mountain Church.
Tourists can easily visit Nha Trang Mountain Church at any time of the year. However, the ideal time to explore Nha Trang Mountain Church is from November to February.
Every day, in the morning or afternoon, visitors can participate in worship sessions, which bring peace to the soul and pray for the best for themselves and their families. Here, visitors can stroll up the flight of stone steps leading to the spacious courtyard of the church, admire the beautiful classical architecture, and feel the serene and religious atmosphere.
Check-in or taking photos is also an essential activity when visiting Nha Trang Mountain Church. Therefore, many couples choose this place to preserve memorable memories for their special day.
Ticket prices, opening hours, and worship hours of Nha Trang Mountain Church
Ticket prices for Chanh Toa Cathedral:
- The cathedral allows free admission, there is no entrance fee.
Opening hours of Nha Trang Mountain Church:
- Weekdays: 5:30 AM – 5:00 PM
- Sundays: 5:00 AM – 7:00 AM, 11:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Worship hours at Nha Trang Stone Church:
- Weekdays: 4:45 AM, 5:00 PM
- Sundays: 5:00 AM, 7:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 3:00 PM, 4:30 PM, 6:30 PM.
Note when visiting Nha Trang Mountain Church.
- If you are only visiting and taking photos, please pay attention to the church’s worship hours, as it is not allowed to make noise or take photos inside the sanctuary during the religious services. Especially, although the church allows visitors to enter freely, you should only visit the designated public areas. The church is a sacred place, so please dress appropriately: wear modest clothing, and skirts/pants should cover the knees.
- In recent years, the number of visitors coming to Nha Trang has been increasing. The stone church opens its doors to welcome guests, aiming to diversify service activities and develop tourism. Every day, it receives about 1,500 visitors from both domestic and international tourists, mainly from China.
- The church has set regulations and rules for tourism activities. Tourist groups wanting to visit must register at least one day or one hour before the church opens (at 8 AM) and it’s completely free of charge. However, by the beginning of 2018, many Chinese tourist groups did not follow the registration rules and were refused entry.
Tourist attractions near Nha Trang Stone Church.
Nha Trang Tram Huong Tower.
When mentioning the famous landmarks of Nha Trang, one cannot overlook Tram Huong Tower. The structure of the 6-story tower is connected with a harmonious beauty resembling a sail on the blue sea, symbolizing a lighthouse shining day and night for this land.
Ponagar Tower Nha Trang.
This is an irresistible destination in the coastal city’s tour. Ponagar Tower attracts tourists with its ancient, mysterious, and solemn beauty. The largest complex of Cham Pa ancient architecture in Vietnam will undoubtedly leave you mesmerized and broaden your horizons.
Xom Moi Market Nha Trang.
Nha Trang not only captivates with its breathtaking landscapes but also impresses visitors with a sense of peace and simplicity. Once you visit Xom Moi Market in Nha Trang, you will feel that wonderful atmosphere. Here, you can also enjoy a variety of delicious dishes and buy many wonderful souvenirs to take home after the trip.
Nha Trang enjoys sunny and breezy weather throughout the year. Whenever you visit the church during the day, you can feel the sacred beauty amidst the earthly surroundings. From early November to Christmas, it is the peak season for international tourists to visit the coastal city. Many people enjoy walking the flight of 53 stone steps leading to the spacious square in front of the church, from where they can observe the bustling flow of people on the streets. For the people of Nha Trang, Chanh Toa Cathedral is an indispensable part of their spiritual life. The information above provides details about the Stone Church that I want to share with you. If you visit Nha Trang, don’t miss this unique architectural masterpiece.