Hanh Thong Tay Church or Saint Joseph Church located at 53/7 Quang Trung Street, Ward 11, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City is one of the architectures contributing into making a special Saigon. Traveling to Saigon, you do not spend the time visiting the church, which is a regrettable thing.
Hanh Thong Tay Church was built from 1921 to 1924 under the sponsorship of Le Phat An (1868-1946). Le Phat An is Le Phat Dat’s son – one of 4 the most famous great landlords in South Vietnam at that time. Mr. An is also Queen Nam Phuong’s Uncle. Hanh Thong Tay Church is built according to Byzantine architecture style and imitated Basilica of St. Vitale in Ravenna, Italy while most of the churches in Vietnam is built according to Gothic or Roman ones.
The church has the length of 14m, a height of 16m, a dome of 20m, Bell of 30m (In 1952 it dropped to 19.5 meters for aviation security reason). Above the front door of Hanh Thong Tay church has a statue of Saint Denis – the patron saint of Denis Le Phat An. On the domed roof of a church is decorated a Byzantine-style mosaic depicting a scene of Jesus dying on the cross and some images of other saints as St. Joseph carrying Jesus and 11 demigoddesses.
In addition, the church also has two statue tombs of Mr. and Mrs. Le Phat An opposite each other built by two famous French architects. Both of tombs are carved in marble and granite. Especially, the two statues of Mr. and Mrs. Le Phat An are very Southern, kneeling and mourning. The sculpture is extremely beautiful and lively in Renaissance style.
Coming to Hanh Thong Tay Church in Saigon, we will be watched Byzantine architecture style, imitating a cathedral in Ravenna, Italy – an architecture style different from most of the churches in Vietnam. The same as staying in other churches, our hearts will feel calm when being in a peaceful atmosphere.