Da Nang became a French protectorate on 3rd October 1888, under the name “Tourane”. By the Han river, the colonists designed a grid of streets with public buildings, a city hall, a market, train, and a church. Over time, these planned quarters have formed the old town (historic core) of the city. Among them, there are some constructions that are still in use, including the church. It’s called “Da Nang cathedral” and right now, is a holy place of worship for locals who have practiced teachings of Jesus Christ. Many tourists also come here to take pictures and learn about the colonial heritage or the faith of citizens. Being close to other must-see attractions in Da Nang’s centre and by main roads, it’s always in the itinerary of city tours. In this article, everything about Da Nang pink church is provided.
– Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture
– The Dragon Bridge Travel Guide
What is the Da Nang Cathedral?
The Da Nang Cathedral (aka the Pink church of Da Nang, Da Nang rooster church) is the parish church of Da Nang city and diocese. The diocese has more than 70,000 believers, about 2,7% of the population in Da Nang and Quang Nam province, and 110 priests. This edifice has been used by local christians since its birth in mid-20th century. Within the heart of the city, today it is one of the landmarks that tourists love visiting and photographing.
Da Nang cathedral features a magnificent Gothic architecture, rising up to 70 meters. Its façade is pinky and trendy, giving it a nickname “the pink church” as many travelers know. This special characteristic makes it photogenic, and that’s why, it draws plenty of instagrammers (sure, so many posts then!). Louis Vallet (1869-1945), a French priest, was in charge of constructing it. He passed away and was buried in Vietnam. The interior of the church owns some fine stained-glass paintings and valuable decorations.
Fact: Da Nang cathedral is called “the Rooster church” by local people. The reason is that the French installed a rooster in its top for weather forecast (measuring wind power). Some other churches in Vietnam have the same nickname too, like in Da Lat.
Read also: The Lady Buddha in Da Nang
Introduction of Christianity in Da Nang Region
The Christianity was introduced by Europeans before the French captured and colonized Vietnam (in 19th century). In January 1615, two Jesuit missionaries led by Francesco Burzomi (Italian) and Diogo de Carvalho (Fortugese), and other Japanese christians came to Da Nang. Then, they moved to Hoi An – an international trading port to introduce their religion. Two years later, Francisco Pina priest also visited and stayed in Hoi An for a year. He returned to the town in 1621, and lived in Thanh Chiem village, 10km west of Hoi An today. This man later contributed to the formation of Vietnamese new written languages that are Latinized. The one becomes the national inscription of Vietnam (officially called “chu quoc ngu”) when Ho Chi Minh led people to gain independence.
The first church and local christian families were established in Hoi An. In 1625, Alexandre de Rhodes arrived in the town. Over the years, the number of believers increased and for some reasons, Minh Mang king banned the introduction of Christinality in the country in 1833. He also requested that all boats of Europeans had to stop at Da Nang before moving further to Hoi An. Growth of the religion in the area slowed down. This decision led to a decline of commerce in the town.
Discrimination and prohibition against Christianity and believers reached the peak in 1885. At that time, many christians lost. In Tra Kieu village, 50km away from Da Nang, surviving christians hide in a mountain and then the Marian appeared to rescue them from killers. Nowadays, this site becomes holy for pilgrims.
In the 1950s and 1960s, particularly after the first Indochina war, christians moved from the north of Vietnam to Da Nang. In 1963, the Da Nang diocese was officially established. One third of the parishioners were new norther inhabitants.
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History of Da Nang Cathedral
The Cathedral of Da Nang diocese was built from February 1923 to 10th March 1924. Up to present, this is still the only French Catholic church in the city. Louis Vallet (1869-1945), a French priest, was in charge of constructing it, in an empty piece of land by Rue de Musée (the Museum road). He performed holy ceremonies here in 1922, after moving from a small church in Da Nang’s outskirts. In 1927, he left Da Nang and went to Nha Trang, another beach city to the south of Vietnam. There, once again, he had the duty to build a parish church that is called “Nha Trang cathedral” today. Due to its main material as stone, locals named it “the Stone church”. In 1946, he died in Nha Trang and his tomb was constructed by the cathedral.
Although designed by Louis Vallet, the construction was under Vietnamese artisans and engineers from Kim Bong village in Hoi An. In the peak time, there are about 300 people and 5,000 bamboo used for scaffolding. The cost is 20,000 VND French Indochina piastre, according to some reliable sources.
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How to Get to the Da Nang Cathedral
Location of Da Nang Pink Church
Da Nang pink church sits within an urban block surrounded by Tran Phu street (front), Yen Bai street (back), Tran Quoc Toan and Nguyen Thai Hoc streets. Its address is 156 Tran Phu St, Hai Chau 1 ward, Hai Chau district, Da Nang city. This colonial building is just one kilometer away from Cham museum and the Dragon bridge, and 1,5 kilometers to Son Tra Night market. The distance from Da Nang international airport to it is double, 3 kilometers.
Travelers can walk if staying in a hotel that is near the Pink church (particularly, the area between the Han river bridge and the Dragon bridge). In a walking distance, it’s possible to see other attractions of Da Nang too, including the Han market – a buzzing multi-level market with a diverse merchandise. Not far away, the Museum of Cham sculpture is a self-guided walking tour for many people. In the surroundings of the Da Nang cathedral, there are so many restaurants, eateries, and vendors selling local food dishes. So, no surprise that foodies also plan to visit. Sure, they travel by foot. Remember to be careful while walking across a road.
By Car and Taxi
Thanks to the city’s downtown location, it’s so convenient to get to the Da Nang cathedral by car and taxi. Keep in mind that visitors have to enter the church by the back gate, not the entrance on Tran Phu street. If also plan to visit other must-see places in Da Nang, such as the Lady Buddha or Marble Mountains, hiring a car may be cheaper. Text us in whatsapp number +84968009827 to ask for more details and reserve.
At the present, there is only one public bus dropping off passengers at the Da Nang cathedral. It is R16 bus, running from Kim Lien to the Vietnam-Korea university. Its operational hours are between 6 am and 7 pm daily, and the frequency is 15 minutes. In the city centre, this bus picks up and drops off at points along Dien Bien Phu St, Ly Thai To St, Hung Vuong St, Ngo Quyen St, Ngu Hanh Son St, Le Van Hien St. Ticket price of public transportation in Da Nang is also low cost, same to everywhere else around the country.
Like cars and buses, it’s really easy to reach the Pink church from everywhere in Da Nang city. Parking is just by the back gate (“real entrance”) on Yen Bai street. The fee is 5,000 VND.
Da Nang Pink Church Opening Hours
According to the Da Nang diocese, from 2023, the Da Nang cathedral opens from 8 to 11:30 am and from 1:30 to 4:30 pm from Monday to Saturday, for visiting. On Monday, sightseers are allowed to enter this church from 11 am to 2 pm. Christians have the chance to go to the mass many times a week and especially, Sunday. Like other churches, the best time to visit in the year is Christmas and new year. In the festival, people who don’t follow Christianity also come to see rich decorations and the atmosphere.
Da Nang Cathedral Mass Times
The Da Nang cathedral is a living church where local Christians and foreigners of all nationalities visit for the mass. This is the official schedule announced by the church:
– Monday to Saturday: morning mass at 5 am, evening mass at 5:15 pm
– Sunday: at 5:15 am, 8 am, 10 am, 3 pm, 5 pm, 6:30 pm.
– English mass is celebrated at 10 am on Sunday
– Mass for childrens takes place at 8 am on Sunday
Read also: Festivals in Da Nang
In the Surroundings of the Da Nang Cathedral
The Han Market
Han market is only 300 meters from the Da Nang cathedral. It’s the best known market in the city, thanks to its long history, prime location and a diversity of merchandise. Visitors can buy things to eat, both processed and fresh at ground level. Clothes, footwears, fabric, and household stuff are for sale upstairs. Outside, there are some gold and accessories shops where tourists can exchange money. See everything in Han market travel guide.
Restaurants near the Da Nang Cathedral
There are so many places to eat in the surroundings of the Da Nang cathedral. Within the heart of the city, street food vendors are not legally allowed to be around this area. Eateries where local people often come to eat, sell diverse food options. Travelers can walk along streets, and sure, it’s easy to see them. Many visitors like to try pho – Vietnamese national noodle soup at the crossroad of Tran Phu and Tran Quoc Toan streets. The owner of that venue comes from Hanoi where the dish exactly is borned. Da Nang’s local foods like banh xeo pancake, nem lui (grilled pork lemongrass), banh beo (steamed rice cakes in small bowls) are found without difficulties and challenges. The best classic and professional restaurants line the riverfront, Bach Dang road.
Coffee Shops near the Da Nang Cathedral
Vietnamese drink coffee everyday. In the morning, afternoon or evening, coffee shops near the Pink church are busy. By the Han market, visitors can go to communist-style Cong ca phe, to taste authentic local brewing coffees. Iced coconut milk coffee actually was first made in one of the shops within this chain. Local brands are more attractive to local people. The quickest way to realize it is looking at drinkers. If they are mostly Vietnamese, the place absolutely deserves a visit.
Read also: Hai Van Pass Travel Guide
Guided Da Nang City Tour
The itinerary of most guided full-day Da Nang city tours includes the Pink church. Visitors usually stay here for 30 minutes, and then walk to the Han market. Other attractions that are on the same day are the Museum of Cham sculpture, Linh Ung pagoda on Son Tra peninsula and its 67-meters Lady Buddha, the Marble mountains and Non Nuoc stone carving village. My Khe beach – the loveliest beach in the city, Tho Quang beach – the beach of basket boats and fishing boats or the city’s fishing harbour where hundreds of fisherman boats stay or spots of scenic natural beauty are stopovers sometimes. At least, travelers can see them from the car or bus. If get around Da Nang by motorcycle, sure it’s easier to stop and take pictures. You can check details of Da Nang at a glance and Da Nang discovery, and decide the best pick for yourself.
About Da Nang half day tours, travelers can consider to climb the top of the Marble mountains (Five-element mountains) and marvel at the tallest Lady Buddha statue in Vietnam. For those who are seeking an adventure, exploring the caves and caverns only inside marble hills is a good choice. In Am Phu cave, besides enjoying incredible formations of Mother nature, visitors also learn about Buddhist philosophy about death and karma. During the Vietnam war, it’s hiding place and a field hospital for communists. Huyen Khong cave, the large cave with holy temples and a “fall of light”, is on the trip. See more details in Da Nang cave tour.
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