Hanoi is home to a splendid array of cultural monuments that reflect the city’s rich and diverse array of faiths and cultures. Discerning travellers can best enjoy these offerings from one of many quality Hanoi apartments in the city’s serviced residence range. A good option for a serviced apartment Hanoi offers is the Somerset Hoa Binh Hanoi, whose stylish interiors and modern amenities make an ideal base from which to explore the city sights. Most splendid amongst them is the St. Joseph Cathedral, which is the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral in the city, built more than 120 years ago. The cathedral features beautiful stained glass windows that stem from the nineteenth century and incorporates a neo-gothic architectural style. It was built by the city’s French population, which demolished an ancient 12th century pagoda, Bao Thien Pagoda in order to erect the cathedral, as part of the endless cycle of changing faiths in a crumbling of the old to make way for the new. Being French-inspired, the cathedral was designed to imitate the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. When the country was taken over by the communist faction, Catholicism suffered three decades of repression, which was only relaxed two decades ago. Since then, Catholicism has flourished in the city, as seen during particular important feast days in the Catholic liturgical calendar and monthly Sundays, during which St. Joseph’s Cathedral fills to the brim with devout worshippers and adherents. This splendid testament to the Catholic faith is definitely worth a visit during a trip to the Vietnam’s iconic capital.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.