Those with even the most rudimentary understanding of Vietnamese culture and religious heritage will know that the country has a rich history of Buddhism, and you’ll find the countryside literally packed with pagodas and temples and the image and shape of the symbolic lotus printed and sculpted into everything from dresses to the architecture of government buildings. However, the country also has a lesser known intimacy with the Catholic faith, thanks in part to the fact that many Vietnamese citizens follow more than a single religion.
This Catholic faith is evidenced in Saint Joseph’s Cathedral, which is the centerpiece of Pho Nah Chung Street, a popular stop for tourists. Construction was completed in the late 19th century during French colonial rule, and today the original stained glass still stands, casting kaleidoscopic colors on the interior. The cathedral holds mass two times every day and is frequented regularly by local Catholics.
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