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Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory

Vietnam’s Marian Church with a feminist charm

Diocese of Da Lat Vietnam’s Marian Church with a feminist charm

Domaine de Marie Church on the Mai Ahh hilltop at Da Lat is famed for its feminist charm and known as Pink Church and Cherry Church, because of its walls made of pink limestones and a surrounding with tall, pink grasses that grow in the area.

The church in the Central Highlands of Vietnam is a complex of buildings comprising the Marian Church, two convents of Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, and a school and an orphanage forchildren run by the nuns.

The hilltop church offers a panoramic view of Da Lat, the capital city of Lam Dong province.

A major attraction of the church is the three-meter statue of Virgin Mary in a Vietnamese woman’s look standing on a globe of the world. Frech architect Jonchère designed the statue in 1943. Suzanne Humbert, wife of Governor-General of Indochina Jean Decoux (1940-1945) gifted the statue to the church. Suzanne used to worship in the church,and generously donated for church’s renovations. She died in a road accident in 1944 and was buried behind the lobby of the church according to her will.

The church was built in between 1930 to 1943 and it combines Vietnamese folk art and 17th century Normandy architecture of northern France. The roof of the church with a large slope made of red tiles follows the pattern of Nha Rong, type of stilt houses common among ethnic Tay Naguyen community who live in the Central Highlands.

Domaine Church has a cross on the main triangular part of the edifice. Rights on the center of the façade is a grand, rose-shaped window, a common feature found in French churches in the 17th century. Its stained-glass windows and pink walls are decorated in in French styles to allow creative manipulation of lights inside the church.

The church complex in 12 hectares of has a large garden full of flowers and cherry trees. Among the most common flower is Hai Tien that blooms in plenty. The campus also provides spaces for a center to display and sell handmade products made by orphans who live and grow thanks to love and care of the nuns and the church authority.

The pink church on the mountainous city symbolizes the Vietnamese French relationship in designs and colors.

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