The Christ the King Cathedral also called Nha Trang Cathedral is the mother church of the Catholic Diocese of Nha Trang in central Vietnam.
Situated on a small hill, Nha Trang Cathedral is an appealing attraction in Nha Trang luring the great number of tourists. It is also the largest church in Nha Trang City.
The parish was founded in 1886 by French missionaries. The present church was built in Gothic Revival style in 1928 as a parish, depending on the Apostolic Vicariate of Quihnon. It was consecrated on Easter 1930 under the title of Christ the King Cathedral, yet the local people often refer to such simple and familiar names: Stone Church, or Mountain Church.
Then she was attended by a famous French priest in the Foreign Missions of Paris, Louis Vallet (1869-1945), who is buried next and devoted his life to his parishioners.
Formerly, this is the wilderness land. When the French came to Nha Trang, they bisected Hon Mot Mountain. The western half of the mountain was flattened with an area of 4.500m2 to build the church. On December 1941, the construction was completed, and the name of the Mountain Church appeared.
Seen from afar, the massive architectural works seem to be built entirely of cleaved stones; however, it is the fact that this kind of stone is only used in paving and courtyard. Surprisingly, all of the walls in the church are constructed with simple cement blocks.
It is Priest Louis Vallet and his colleagues who directly molded these blocks. Particularly, only the roof of the corridor running along sides was concreted, whole dome of the chapel was used hard-core bamboo and lattice girders. In addition, a wall along the cathedral contains thousands of plaques, which identified the remains of those entombed within after a nearby Catholic cemetery had been disinterred for a new railway building in 1988.
Nha Trang Cathedral deeply inspires Gothic cathedral architecture with 3 distinct sections. The bottom is the door, the middle section is stained-glass circular windows colored with roses, and the top is a corridor and two bell towers.
The most unique features of the cathedral are the bronze bell hung in the tower. These bells was manufactured and supplied by ringing by Bourdon Carillond - a famous French bell firm. The first one sounds E-Flat, the two remaining respectively owns C and A. On the bell tower, there is a big clock with 4 sides overlooking 4 directions.
The most prominent in Nha Trang Cathedral is the Holy Place. Stepping through the entrance door, tourists will come across a vast, airy space filled with light. The most striking characteristics of Gothic architecture express in the wide curved dome pointing upon the sky. Straight lines which exploited as decorative patterns are arranged in harmony, creating modest beauty but dignified. Besides, in order to efficiently take advantage of the sunshine, designs designe various types of stained glass on the arch doors, and rose doors. All have created beautiful and soothing scenery, calming inherent solemn atmosphere which usually was found in places of worship. In addition, sanctuary area is an open colorful space. Pictures of Saints in the stained glass here create dazzling beauty and elegance. Those who once come here will surely feel extremely admirable on talented hands of the artisans who built this masterpiece.
Nha Trang is always full of year-round sun and wind. Going to the Cathedral at any time of the day, tourists will feel the sacred beauty outstanding from the hustling and bustling life. Around the time from November to Christmas is the peak season of international tourists to the seaside city. Numerous people love to walk along the path over the 53 stairs straightly leading to the large yard in front of the church's frontispiece. Sitting here and feeling about the life is actually unforgetable moments. Mountain Church has been present for more than 80 years in Nha Trang. From afar, the cathedral looks like an ancient Roman castle. Standing on a small hill with its ash-gray suit, the construction remains the steadiness against severe weather. For parishioners in Nha Trang City, Mountain Church plays a very important role in their life. They come here to pray and wish the gift of their peace. In addition, numerous couples also choose the cathedral for their own wedding, certifying for the sublimation of the love.
Nha Trang Cathedral is also a favorite address of tourists when taking part in Nha Trang travel. Apart from having a chance to admire the unique architectural works, tourists will actually immerse moments of comfort, tranquility while contemplating the dreaming coastal city. Nha Trang tourism thus gradually becomes much more attractive to tourists.