This is the second part of the trip to the Bái Đính Temple. You can find the first part here: http://hastenteufel.name/blog/from-pho-chau-over-dan-luc-back-to-ninh-binh/.
From Bái Đính Temple we went to the Phát Diệm Cathedral in Phat Diem. The Phát Diệm Cathedral pictures are in the second part of this post!
Lets get back to the temple first:
Bái Đính Temple
You can go up the tower for a “donation”
The Past, the Present and the Future: Three bronze Tam The statues
Each statue of Tam The weighs 50 tons and is 12 metres high
The next project – another temple
Towards the old temple you pass the Hall of Turtles. The turtle shell is a symbol of heaven, and the square underside a symbol of earth. So one animal heaven and earth. It carries its round shell over the ground, like heaven, and has a flat bottom, like earth. The tortoise is sacred and symbolizes power, longevity and tenacity.
The gate to the old part of the temple
This one beats me! Must be one of the Forest gods. It is next to the entrance of the Cao Son Temple
The Cave Temple – it is about 25 meters long and has an exit at the end on the left that leads to a green valley and stairs that go down to the old Pagoda.
Another smaller temple – the original Pagoda of Bai Dinh
Than we went back to the parking lot with an electric bus – another 30.000 Dong. But saves you a long hike. Since we wanted to go to the Phát Diệm Cathedral as well it did save us a lot of time.
And all that time was lost after I discovered a flat at the parking lot. A nice man jumped on his bike and drove to the next town to get his tools. He did fix it in a few minutes and 30.000 Dong later we where on the road
Short stop for food at Hoa Lu ancient capital. It was the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries. After lunch we went up the mountain to the Tomb of an Emperor. Well not really a lot to see.
There is a small museum but not really worth to go and see. But if you do – stop at the temple of Lê Đại Hành next to it. It is really nice inside
Horses on the street – something different after all the cows and goats I did see roaming on the streets of Vietnam
Phát Diệm Cathedral
The Phát Diệm Cathedral is located in the Kim Sơn District of Ninh Bình Province in Phat Diem town or Kim Son. We had to drive to Ninh Binh first and then almost 30 KM to the south-east. The architectural style of the Cathedral is a mix of Vietnamese and European. From the outside it does look like a Vietnamese Temple and not like a church. It was built between 1875 and 1899 but Catholicism in the area was wide-spread since the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century.
Aeroplane of Idiots? Why not!
Chapel of the Sacred Heart
Main entrance of the The Cathedral or the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary
Inside the Phát Diệm Cathedral: An orthodox-style altar. Above you find portraits of missionaries – most of them from Europe as well as Vietnamese martyrs. At the top – yes it is very small on the picture – Mary gives the rosary to St Dominic, the founder of the Dominican order.
The length of the cathedral is 64 metres and it is 18 metres wide.
Details from the front
Details from the side of the door
Details from the side of the door
The Bell Tower with three entrances and three tiers. It does represent heaven, earth and man in Asian cultures and it is the symbol of the Christian trinity.
The Bell Tower from the other side with the entrance of the Phát Diệm Cathedral in the back
The Chapel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was almost entirely build out of stone in 1883. The central tower houses a statue of the virgin and is carved with Chinese characters and Romanised Vietnamese. It is one of the oldest examples of the writing in stone. The two towers on the side are built like the Tháp Bút (Pen Tower) at the Ngọc Sơn temple in Hoàn Kiếm Lake in Hanoi.
Interesting little details all over: you will find the carving of a life cycle of the lotus. The lotus is the symbol of Buddhism. In the center of it you find a cross. There is a Yin-Yang symbol, a phoenix which would be the queen in Vietnam but here you will find Mary in this role. All to show us that different cultures and religions can exist together in harmony!
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