So Kien Basilica

One of the most beautiful Gothic structures in Vietnam, So Kien Basilica (or Ke So Church) is a well-known place in Ha Nam province.

Located in Kien Khe, Thanh Liem district, So Kien church used to be a cathedral of the Hanoi archdiocese and is one of four basilicas in Vietnam.

The church was built in 1877 under the direction of Bishop Puginier Phuoc (1835-1892) and inaugurated in 1883. So Kien has Gothic architecture with the main church, the Bishop’s house and the friary. The church is 67m long, 31m wide and 23m high with four rows of pillars and has 5 globes. It can accommodate 4,000-5,000 people. Built on a large lagoon, its floor is made of ironwood to prevent the foundation from sinking.

So Kien basilica covers an area of 9ha.

The church has Gothic architecture.

Inside the church.

Lacquered altar inside the church.

The stained-glass door of the church.

Unique arches of the

Delicate patterns carved on the staircase partition.

So Kien, an imposing construction.

At a ceremony of the church.

So Kien has a classic western-style architecture with arches and stained-glass windows featuring saints or biblical events. The sanctuary and the altar are made from carved wood lacquered gold in the Vietnamese traditional style.

The church’s bell tower has four giant bells with the Do-Mi-Sol-Do tone and has a total weight of over 4.6 tons. So Kien basilica has also preserved a big and precious accordion which has a special structure.

As an historical and spiritual destination, So Kien church was raised into the fourth basilica in Vietnam, under the title of the Immaculate Conception in 2010.

The basilica is not only a peaceful space for parishioners but also a must-see destination for lovers of Gothic architecture.

By Viet Cuong