Visiting a 150-year-old pink church in Saigon

Tan Dinh Church on Hai Ba Trung Street in HCMC’s District 3 is charmingly decorated for Christmas - PHOTOS: HOANG PHONG


Lying peacefully in the heart of HCMC for more than one century, Tan Dinh Church has been a convergence point for not only Catholic pilgrims to practice their religious belief but also for tourists from far and wide who come to admire the imposing French-influenced architecture and find some peace for their soul. 

Its history may be traced back to the French colonial time when construction of the church started in 1870 and was completed in 1876.  The nearly-150-year-old church was built in Gothic architecture featuring Roman-style designs.    

Tan Dinh Church, better known as Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was painted with the vibrant pink color for both the exterior and interior of the cathedral, making it more special amidst the heart of the modern city and drawing huge attention of passers-by and those from abroad.

Taking a stroll around the busy Hai Ba Trung Street in HCMC’s District 3, it comes as no surprise that everyday hundreds of local youths and foreign tourists, regardless of their religions, are gathered at one of the oldest and most striking churches of the city to visit and pose for photos.

Many local youths and foreign tourists come to visit the church and pose for photos everyday


Although Tan Dinh Church has undergone several restorations and repairs after more than one century of existence, the sacred site has still preserved its original architecture and remained a common home for parishioners despite the fast social and economic changes of the city over the years.

Peter, a 34-year-old American man who has six years of experience as a photo journalist in HCMC, said in an encounter with the Daily last Saturday that he has visited many renowned churches in the city, including the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, but the remarkable design and the modern pink color of Tan Dinh Church in District 3 leave a strong impression on him.

“Absolutely, this is the third time I dropped by the pink church attached to the history and development of HCMC. Whenever I have free time, I also want to come to the church to take a deep breath of fresh air in a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of urban life and take artistic photos for my Instagram,” the American visitor added.

Tan Dinh Church is located at 289 Hai Ba Trung Street in District 3, HCMC and in just a short walk from Tan Dinh Market, which has existed for around nearly 100 years and housed a food court and thousands of stalls selling groceries, clothing, footwear, fruits and textiles.

The church has existed for nearly 150 years and is regarded as the city’s second largest church after the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in District 1 

By Nguyen Quy (


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