Phu Cam Cathedral
(A famous and old church in Hue, Vietnam)
Phu Cam Cathedral is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Hue, located on Phuoc Qua Hill, in Phuoc Vinh Ward, Hue City. This is one of the largest, the most famous and oldest churches in Hue, the cathedral was built in modern architecture, designed by architect Ngo Viet Thu.
In the 17th century, under the Nguyen lords, “Phu Cam” (府 柑) was a palace, the residence of princes.
In 1682, Father Langlois built Phu Cam chapel with bamboo in Stone (Đá) village, close to An Cuu river.
Two years later, the priest dissolved the chapel and bought land on Phuoc Qua hill to build a larger church and solidified stone, then the church turned west. By the time of Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu, in 1698, the church was completely eliminated.
Two centuries later, in 1898, Bishop Eugène Marie Allys (Bishop Ly) built the new Phu Cam Church with brick, tile roofs are quite massive in the old location but faced north. This work was done by the Bishop himself in 1902.
In 1960, after the diocese of Hue was elevated to the Archdiocese and Archbishop Peter Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc from Vinh Long to assume Archbishop of Hue, he destroyed the entire old Phu Cam church and commenced work construction of the new cathedral with the project by architect Ngo Viet Thu.
Although the construction was still in very slow progress, in 1967, the sanctuary of the church was completed
To be able to consecrate Phu Cam church on the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Hue, Archbishop Stifan Nguyen Nhu The had to complete all the decorations inside the church and the two bell towers in front of the temple in 2000.
Thus, through three generations of bishops – from Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc to Archbishop Nguyen Kim Dien and Archbishop Nguyen Nhu The – after nearly 40 years of building, the new cathedral of Phu Cam completed as today.
The building of the church is made in the form of a cross, its head pointing towards the south, the foot towards to the north. The church is structured according to modern construction techniques but the decoration is still in the classical art of the West. The pillars are molded close to the wall, running bending forward, they look soft. Four corners, each with three pillars rising out, forming a space wide enough to enclose the sanctuary and the altar.
Inside the church, which can accommodate 2500 people to attend the ceremony. There are two rows of colorful glass window upper part of the church, which provide light to the interior.
The sanctuary is a circle with many levels going up, on the bow is a circle but smaller with an altar of monolith.
The tabernacle, built close to the back of the church, sits neatly in the back of the church, and is placed on a high platform in the center.
Inside the church, the left side is the tomb of the late Archbishop Philippe Nguyen Kim Dien, the right side is the altar of the martyr Tong Viet Buong (was born in Phu Cam, died in 1833).
In front of the Phu Cam cathedral there are two statues: on the right is Peter, on the left is Paul, they are also the patron of Phu Cam parish.
On the whole, Phu Cam Church with its top of the church stretches straight into the sky that is still light, artistic and religious.