Nha Tho Chanh Toa Da Lat

Reaching the top of Prenn Pass, the gate to downtown Da Lat, visitors can see the high bell tower of Nha Tho Chanh Toa Da Lat (the main church in Da Lat) in the distance.

However, the church on Tran Phu Street near the city’s post office is better known under the name of Nha Tho Con Ga (Rooster Church), because on the top of its bell tower sits the statue of a rooster.

Historical documents show that the church started out as a small chapel built by the French in 1920 and named Hic Domus Est Dei. Two years later it was rebuilt into a 26-metre-long, eight-metre-wide cathedral with a 16-metre-tall bell tower.

From July 1931 to January 1942 the church was enlarged again to turn it into the largest cathedral in Da Lat. Currently, it is 65 metres long and 14 metres wide and boasts a 47-metre-tall bell tower.

The bronze rooster statue on the top of the tower is 66 centimetres long and 58 centimetres tall. The rooster replaces the customary displays the cardinal points and is a favourite animal of the French.

The cathedral’s architecture also recalls the French influence and mimics European Catholic churches in the Middle Ages. It has 70 French-made stained glass windows which colour the sunlight falling through them.

The main door of the church, itself located on a hill, looks toward Langbian, the highest mountain in Da Lat.

Nha Tho Chanh Toa attracts not only churchgoers but also local and foreign tourists. Daily services start at 5:15am and 5:15pm on weekdays. On Sundays, the services are held at 5:15am, 7am, 8:30am, 4pm and 6pm.

Saigon Times