135-year-old Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral to get first-ever facelift

Thanh Nien News

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The Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon. Photo credit: Nguoi Lao Dong

The 135-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City will be restored for the first time in the next three months, Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper reported.
The HCMC Archdiocese has confirmed the information, adding that it may take several years to finish the upgrading project, according to the report.
A representative of the archdiocese said the historical building looks fine from the outside, but the interior structure has degraded. Therefore, the project is necessary as it will ensure safety for parishioners.
He said the project will use long-lasting and damp-proofing bricks imported from France to replace the old bricks inside the cathedral. The project will not change anything in the original design of the cathedral.
As scheduled, a huge scaffold will cover the cathedral from the rooftop to the ground, so city dwellers will no longer be able to see it from the outside.
The Saigon Notre Dame was built by French colonists between 1863 and 1880. It has two bell towers, with a height of 58 meters (190 feet).

It is among the most famous sites in HCMC. 

Old and rotten bricks of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon. Photo credit: Nguoi Lao Dong

Tiles have fallen from the roof of the cathedral. Photo credit: Nguoi Lao Dong

The Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon in 1882. Photo courtesy of the HCMC Archdiocese

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