VietnamHo Chi MinhCho Quan Church in Ho Chi Minh City

Cho Quan Church in Ho Chi Minh City

Most people know of the Notre Dame Cathedral – arguably the most famous church in Ho Chi Minh City. Surprisingly, Notre Dame Cathedral is not the most ancient one in the city. Cho Quan Church is the most ancient church in Ho Chi Minh City and is in Chinatown.

A Brief History of the Church

In the 1700s, many Catholics from other provinces moved to Ho Chi Minh City, especially the Cho Quan area, to settle and earn their living. Afterward, they built the Catholic house of Cho Quan in 1720. At first, the church’s architecture was simple, with only one small chapel and an altar inside. After being rebuilt a few times from the damage caused by the Vietnam War, the latest version of the church was inaugurated on December 16th, 1896, by Vicar Nicolas Hamm and is mainly reserved until today.

Read more about Catholicism in Vietnam.

Cho Quan Church main gate
The main gate of Cho Quan Church

Address

120 Tran Binh Trong Street, Ward 2, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City

How to get there

It is about 3 kilometers from the city’s center, so you can travel here by taxi, motorbike, or bus. You can catch bus number 01 from the bus station near Ben Thanh Market to a stop near the church. Also, you may want to travel with a local tour guide who can help you understand more about the church.

Opening Time

4:30 AM – 11:00 AM
1:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Cho Quan Church’s Architecture

All of the Gothic construction gates were designed sophisticatedly with arches above. The windows are not decorated with colorfully stained glass like other churches. Step inside. There are two rows of small benches and other big benches able to host a capacity of 1,500 Catholic followers. At the end of the hall, you can see the sacred altar of Jesus sculptured with intricated patterns.

Cho Quan Church window
The windowpanes of Cho Quan Church

Five bells and the newly attached red-tiled roof are designed on the church’s top, making the church even more recognizable. Two of the bells are often used on weekdays, while the two other bells are just used on important occasions, and the last one is used for funerals. On special holidays, all five bells would be rung together. Moreover, the five heavy bells of the church were made in France, so it was said that people had to move these bells to the top with the support of five elephants. All of the construction building parts and costs were donated by Catholic followers living in Ho Chi Minh City to build.

Cho Quan Church front
The front view of the bell tower of Cho Quan Church
Cho Quan Church bell tower
The side view of the bell tower of Cho Quan Church

The total area of the church’s garden is about 16,922 square meters, and it also welcomes outside visitors. The locals often come here to do morning exercise or jog inside the park.

Cho Quan Church garden
The garden inside Cho Quan Church

Here in the park, you can find the cave of a statue of Maria with stone benches in front of prayers.

Cho Quan Church Marias Cave
Outside of the church, people also visit Maria’s altar to pray

The Mass Schedule of Cho Quan Church

The Catholic followers and visitors can participate in the mass of Cho Quan Church at the following time throughout the week.

Monday – Saturday: 5 AM and 5:30 PM
Sunday: 5 AM, 6:30 AM, 8 AM, 4:30 PM, and 6 PM

Cho Quan Church On Holidays

Like other churches, Cho Quan church is decorated with colorful lights and pretty ribbons on special occasions such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve. On these days, many often visit Cho Quan Church to take pictures with their friends and family.

Summary of Cho Quan Church in Ho Chi Minh City

Cho Quan Church is a unique attraction because it is the most ancient Catholic church in Ho Chi Minh City. Considered an alternative place to visit compared to the Notre Dame Cathedral and Tan Dinh Church, it is a quiet and peaceful local church. If you pass by Chinatown and come across Cho Quan Church, come inside to look.

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