Saigon Cathedral Notre Dame Closes To Tourists For Renovation

Restoration work began at Saigon Cathedral Notre Dame, one of the most famous tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh city, and will finish after two years. But you are always welcome to attend a service and a prayer for workers who are trying to repair the massive roof.

Father Ho Van Xuan, a representative of the Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese, said on Tuesday that the renovation work is expected to go until late 2019.

During this time, the cathedral will be open only religious services, he said. Workers will close the area around the church for the next three weeks.

A plan to restore the cathedral was approved by The municipal government late last year.

In June last year, Father Xuan said that some parts of the cathedral had fallen into anguish over time, adding that the restoration work was carried out carefully to “maintain the original beauty” of the historic building.

Financed by the Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese, workers will get started on fixing the roof, which is 91m long and 35m wide, before moving on to the interior and bell towers.

There are about 50,000 tiles on the roof of the cathedral, and one of the most difficult aspects of the project will be the source of Marseille tiles used in the original construction.

The walls of the cathedral, which have been defaced by vandals, will also be repainted.

Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral was built by French colonialists between 1863 and 1880. It has two bell towers that stand at a height of 58 meters (190 feet).

Located in a tourist precinct that includes the historic Central Post Office in District 1, the cathedral is popular among foreign and local visitors, especially during holiday seasons.