Talk to our local expert directly


Ninh Binh Tour - Discover the Catholic capital of Vietnam at Phat Diem Cathedral

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Ninh Binh -Travel Tips

Phat Diem Stone Church is the most beautiful Catholic church complex in Vietnam, a place not to be missed on the Ninh Binh Tour.

Phat Diem Stone Church in Ninh Binh is a long-standing architectural work more than 100 years old and was built during 30 years with Asian architecture quite different from other churches in Vietnam. It is considered the "Catholic capital of Vietnam". What is unique about this architecture? So today, let's explore Phat Diem stone church with Threeland Travel in Ninh Binh right here.


Overview of Phat Diem Church in Ninh Binh

Phat Diem Church in Ninh Binh is located in Kim Son district, 120 km south of Hanoi. Although it is a Catholic church, Phat Diem Stone Church has the architecture of traditional Vietnamese temples.

The church was built by the presiding priest, Father Peter Tran Luc - the parish priest of Phat Diem in 1965. The church material is completely made of stone and ironwood, bringing majesty and solemnity to this spiritual place. Do not miss the opportunity to admire the special architecture at Phat Diem church when choosing the Ninh Binh tour!

Overview-of-Phat-Diem-Church-in-Ninh Binh

The best time to visit Phat Diem Church in Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh's weather all year round is mild and cool, with occasional small rains. So visitors can go to Phat Diem Church in Ninh Binh at any time of the year from January to December. However, according to Threeland Travel's travel experience, the most suitable time for you to travel. Phat Diem Cathedral is at Christmas every year. At Christmas, here will take place many meaningful activities, invested meticulously and elaborately, which will make you surprised and shocked by the splendid beauty of the church. You can combine visiting nearby tourist attractions such as Hoa Lu ancient capital, Trang An... If you go for a few days, you can choose the Ninh Binh 1 day tour.

Directions to Phat Diem Stone Church

Phat Diem stone church is located about 28 km from Ninh Binh city and about 120 km from Hanoi, so you can come here by many different means: motorbike, car, train, even bus. to this place. With such a close distance, you can easily choose Ninh Binh tours from hanoi.


Passenger car: if you do not trust your own hands or are in the wrong direction, then you should choose a bus to come to Ninh Binh. You can catch a bus at the My Dinh bus station or Giap Bat bus station for about 70,000 to 100,000 VND. After sleeping in the car for about 2 hours, you have arrived in Ninh Binh city. After coming to Ninh Binh city center, you choose to rent a motorbike or travel by taxi to reach Phat Diem stone church in Ninh Binh.

Explore the 130-year-old Phat Diem Stone Church

Coming here, you must be amazed by the massiveness as well as the extremely unique design of the church. Such as ponds, lakes, statues, bell towers, cathedrals, artificial caves, etc., the materials to build the church are also transported from distant lands such as Nghe An and Thanh Hoa. … hundreds of kilometers away to be able to return to Ninh Binh to build this church. In the condition of rudimentary working vehicles, thousands of tons of stone and hundreds of ironwood trees with a length of up to 12m and weight of over 7 tons were transported to build this work. To understand better, you should choose to go with the Ninh Binh tour package!


Unlike other churches in Vietnam, the highlight of Phat Diem stone church's architecture is the harmonious combination between Eastern and Western architecture. All items are arranged in an overall " vương" shape. The opening and closing space in the oriental style clearly shows that it is the feng shui element in front of the lake, then the mountain, according to the concept of the ancients, wishing that everything would go well and be peaceful for life.

Phat Diem Cathedral complex includes a large church and 5 small churches. There is a church built of natural stone, called a stone church, in addition to a bell tower and artificial stone cave.

1. Phuong Dinh (Bell Tower)

This is probably a masterpiece of Phat Diem Cathedral Ninh Binh, Phuong Dinh means a square house shaped like a large village communal house with a width of 21m and a height of 25m including 3 floors. Phuong Dinh's entrance gate is designed as a Tam Quan gate in traditional architecture, built with blue stone with sophisticated techniques. On the cliffs are bas-reliefs of several saints and depictions of Jesus.


The highest floor of Phuong Dinh has 5 tower blocks, the central tower block puts a bell weighing 2 tons and having a height of 1.9m, the special thing of this bell can be heard 10 km away. The remaining four blocks on the top are statues of four saints who have written four gospels, placed like lotus buds, showing the harmony between Eastern and Western cultures.

2. Cathedral area

Located in the center is a large church area with a length of 74m and a width of 21m with 4 roofs and 5 intricately carved entrances. The main space is the cathedral with a large altar made of monolithic stone, the front and back are carved with typical patterns for the four seasons. Along with that, the small churches are also very unique from the columns, background, walls, doors ... are carved in stone.


The roof system is built in the style of a traditional match-stack roof with two roofs, interrupted by windows to get light and create a high rise for the roof. At the end of the church is a palanquin made from granite that is arched into 5 ways leading to the church, the ground and façade are leveled with the peak in the middle and lower on the sides. The top of the tower is roofed with comedy nose tiles with a delicate curved top evoking a unique combination of two Indochinese architectural styles. Wooden altars in the church are painted with gold steel to create a traditional Vietnamese worship space. You will feel that space in the Ninh Binh itinerary.

3. Heart of the Mother of God

In the system of 5 small churches in Phat Diem, there is a house made of stone called the Heart of Our Lady. The work was first built by Mr. Sau in this cluster of relics.

The church is 15.3 m long and 8.5 m wide. Most of the foundation, columns, beams, walls, bars, towers... are made of stone. Therefore Phat Diem is known as the Stone Church.


The Christmas festival is a big festival for Catholics, so this is a great community cultural opportunity for parishioners of Phat Diem diocese. Christmas Eve The church is shimmering with colorful lights. System of caves, Christmas trees, luminescent lights. Creating a unique and magnificent space different from the usual Christmas holidays is held in a sacred and sacred place, creating an attraction for parishioners and visitors at Christmas Eve.

Phat Diem Church in Ninh Binh is solid

Phat diem cathedral even though it is a Catholic architectural work. But modeled after the architectural features of the traditional pagoda in Vietnam with the number of curved roofs in the shape of the bow of the church, the church is built entirely of Lim wood, which is often built in temples in Vietnam. In addition, the stone was also taken from Thien Duong mountain, 30km from Phat Diem. More precious stones are obtained from Nhoi mountain near Thanh Hoa.

Wooden trees weighing 7 tons, stones weighing up to 20 tons were transported in a rudimentary way to Ninh Binh to build Phat Diem church.


Phat diem cathedral also has many finely carved details. Around the work are decorated countless familiar images taken from Vietnamese villages such as Long - Ly - Quy - Phuong, pine, chrysanthemum, bamboo, apricot; Or the image familiar to Vietnamese Buddhism is the lotus flower. The reliefs are skillfully carved on monolithic bluestone carvings made by stone carvers at that time.


It can be said that phat diem cathedral is a unique work with the interference between Buddhism and Christianity and architectural features combining East - West culture. With the style and architecture bearing the impression of traditional Asian temples, the stone church is not only a place to bring faith to Catholics but also create peace and protection for Vietnamese people. . The stone church is a tourist attraction that attracts domestic and foreign tourists when coming to Ninh Binh tour.