Tan Dinh Church

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | C.1874

Photo Credit: Mark Thomas

Vibrantly pink, and crafted in a Romanian architectural style, the Tan Dinh church, or the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Built in 1876 during the French colonial period when Vietnam was part of French Indochina it has survived the turbulent periods of Vietnam’s past.

The church is considered the second largest in Ho Chi Minh City. The two bell towers bring the building’s height to approximately 60 meters. Situated at on Hai Ba Trung street in District 3, the church belongs to Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City.

Tan Dinh Church is considered one of the most beautifully architected churches in Ho Chi Minh City with a combination of Gothic, Roman, and Baroque design. It is easily recognizable for its vivid pink paint highlighted by white details that embellish the exterior that was first applied in 1957 during a major refurbishing effort. The beloved coloring has remained ever since.

In the first year of its establishment, the church invited the Sisters of Saint-Paul de Chartres to create an orphanage and boarding school beside the church. The orphanage housed over 300 youth in the course of three years. A publishing house was later established and provided disadvantaged children education for the publishing trade.

In 1976, to celebrate the 100th anniversary, the church was repainted with a fresh coat and the chancel was raised and tiled to match the fresh color. It continues to serve as an active place of worship for the community, and a unmistakable landmark in Ho Chi Minh City.

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