HAM LONG CHURCH
Hanoi capital today still retains many of the oldest features in temples, pagodas, and churches. Among those architectural works, Ham Long Church is one of the largest and most beautiful churches in Hanoi.
1. Introduction about Ham Long Church
This is a Roman Catholic church, belonging to the Archdiocese of Hanoi, Vietnam. This is also one of the largest churches in Hanoi, located at 21 Ham Long Street, Hoan Kiem District. The project was designed and completed in December 1934 with a height of 17m by Vietnamese architect Doctor Than (hometown in Ha Hoi, Thuong Tin, Ha Tay), who was studying in France.
The church took Saint Anthony of Padova as the patron. Besides, it also became the place where religious activities of the Hanoi parishioners took place, as well as was the main church of Ham Long parish.
2. Means of transportation to Ham Long Church
The location is in the heart of the capital, so you can easily get here in many ways:
• By personal means: You move from Hang Bai to Ham Long, or from Ba Trieu. You can also call taxi or motorbike taxi.
• By bus: You take the bus routes 23, 31, 32 because they will have stops near this area, with a ticket price of only 7,000 VND.
3. The architecture of Ham Long Church
As one of the most beautiful Hanoi churches, the place has two fronts overlooking Ngo Thi Nham and Ham Long streets. The architecture is highlighted by a bell tower located in the center of the façade, decorated simply and harmoniously.
Although it is not large in scale and not intricate in decoration, it has a unique feature compared to other Hanoi Catholic churches during the French colonial period. The special feature of the church is the diversity of construction materials. People have used many local construction materials, such as straw, bamboo, paper, etc. They create arches, causing the effect of the sound reaction without the use of modern audio equipment.
Notably, during the annual Christmas season, with the crowd of excited people coming here, you can celebrate Christmas right outside the church gate with romantic candles around your feet. The atmosphere will definitely become a lot warmer.
4. The outstanding cuisine around the church
Tourists come here not only to visit the landscape but also to enjoy the delicious street food.
- The first dish to mention is Bun Ngan (Goose noodle soup). This famous vermicelli shop is hugely crowded, located opposite the church, at the intersection of Ham Long and Ngo Quyen streets. The opening time of the restaurant is from the afternoon to late night, which fully meets the needs of the night for diners.
- Another attractive place in a small alley opposite the church is a salad shop. There is a various dishes, including beef salad, roast birds or spring rolls, etc. Besides, the shop also has best-sellers, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, fried sweet corn, and Banh Bot Loc. The dishes here are delicious – nutritious – cheap, less than 10,000 – 20,000 VND / dish (about 1 US dollar/ 50-100 yen).
- For visitors coming on Christmas day, chicken egg custard is a rather interesting choice. The cake has a shape similar to honeycomb with a sweet, greasy taste without being bored. The price is only from 20.000 VND (about 1 US dollar/ 100 yen).
Hanoi has many architectural works with high historical value. Still, Ham Long Church is always a destination attracting not only parishioners but also those who love to learn about Catholicism.