July 27, 2016

2669 VIETNAM (Southeast) - Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

Following the French conquest of Cochinchina, the Roman Catholic Church established a community and religious services for French colonialists. Thus, in 1863, Admiral Bonard decided to build a wooden church on the bank of Charner canal (Kinh Lớn). The construction was completed two years later and was called Saigon Church. When the wooden church was damaged by termites, all church services were held in the guest-chamber of the French Governor's Palace.

After the design competition, bids were accepted for construction. Again, J. Bourard was the successful bidder and became supervisor of constructions. All building materials were imported from France. The outside wall of the cathedral was built with bricks from Marseille. Although the contractor did not use coated concrete, these bricks have retained their bright red color until today. In 1877, Bishop Isidore Colombert laid the first stone in an inaugural ceremony., and the construction of the cathedral took three years.

On Easter Day, 11 April 1880, a blessing ceremony and ceremony of completion were solemnly organized in presence of the Governor of Cochinchina Charles Le Myre de Vilers. In 1895, two bell towers were added to the cathedral, each 57.6 m high with six bronze bells with the total weight of 28.85 metric tonnes. The crosses were installed on the top of each tower of 3.5 m high, 2 m wide, 600 kg in weight. The total height of the cathedral to the top of the Cross is 60.5 m.

In 1959, Bishop Joseph Pham Van Thien attended the Marian Congress held in Vatican and ordered a statue of Our Lady of Peace made with granite in Rome. When the statue arrived in Saigon in  1959, Bishop Pham Van Thien held a ceremony to install the statue. The next day, Cardinal Aganianian came from Rome to chair the closing ceremony of the Marian Congress and solemnly chaired the ceremony for the statue, thus the cathedral was then-on called Notre-Dame Cathedral.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the series Vietnamese lighthouses, designed by Nguyễn Du and issued on May 15, 2013:
4-1 Diêm Điền lighthouse (Thái Bình province) (2000 VND) - It's on the postcard
4-2 Lý Sơn lighthouse (Quảng Ngãi province) (3000 VND)
4-3 Đại Lãnh lighthouse (Phú Yên province) (6000 VND)
4-4 Kê Gà lighthouse (Bình Thuận province) (14500 VND)

The second is part of a definitive series of stamps issued in 2016.

The last stamp was issued on January 18, 2016 to mark the 12th Conference of the Communist Party.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon - Wikipedia

Sender: Pumipat
Sent from Ho Chi Minh City (Southeast / Vietnam), on 10.07.2016
Photo: Ngoc Do

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