Shocked – Kon Tum architecture

1. Wooden Church – The only church in Vietnam made entirely from wood

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Located right in the heart of Kon Tum city is the beautiful Wooden Church, gracefully located on tree-lined Nguyen Hue street. In the bright summer sunlight, the Wooden Church stands out against the high blue sky, reflecting the solemn brown color of rosewood wood, sparkling like a gem. Encountering the Wooden Church at first sight, visitors easily recognize that this project is the perfect intersection between the stilt house architecture of the Ba Na people and the famous splendid Roman architecture. The project was built by the talented hands of the best artisans in 1913 using the manual method, carefully little by little, until it was completed in 1918.

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The entire Wooden Church is a solid architectural block, with rows of very sturdy and strong wooden columns, as if challenging the erosion of the gods of time. Sophistication appears in every small detail: the cathedral door, decorative patterns along the hallway, carvings on the staircase, etc. The sanctuary is decorated according to patterns of ethnic groups in the Central Highlands. , close to daily life, still evokes a sacred and solemn feeling. Looking from the front, this architectural work is truly a Roman-style church, but only viewed from a slightly tilted angle, the exposed side has the unique features of a BaNa stilt house with empty space below. Therefore, the Wooden Church exudes a rustic and friendly appearance like the kind and healthy appearance of the Kon Tum ethnic people. In addition to the main cathedral, many other buildings were also built very delicately such as reception houses, exhibition houses, souvenir areas, orphanages, brocade weaving facilities, sewing and embroidery facilities… all arranged as harmoniously as possible. Adds unique beauty to the Wooden Church. The church’s garden is quite spacious, surrounded by green grass and shady gardens, with unique shaped stones and statues carved from tree roots, creating a colorful space. Central Highlands mountains and forests.

Nearly a century has passed, despite the wind, storms, sun and rain, the Wooden Church still retains its perfect beauty, shows no signs of deterioration and has become a famous architectural work not only in Kon Tum. Tum, but the pride of the entire Central Highlands.

2. Bishop’s Palace – where time stops

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From the Wooden Church, you can walk along the spacious and cool Ly Tu Trong street, just a short distance to the Bishop’s Palace. Just standing outside the gate, visitors will be immediately overwhelmed by the grandeur of this building with its ancient deep brown tile roof and spacious long house. The beauty of the Bishop’s Palace begins with two rows of shady porcelain trees, white flowers blooming, and the fragrance drifts in the wind, making visitors feel like they can shake off the sadness outside. Built from 1935 to 1938, the architecture of the Bishop’s Palace is still a combination of East and West, but favors simplicity and spaciousness, not as elaborate as the Wooden Church. Visitors will be immediately impressed by the beautiful clusters of white Philippine silver butterfly flowers in front, then the simple, long silver-brown wooden hallway, and the small rooms bearing the mark of time. The second floor of the seminary is like a miniature museum about the lives of Kon Tum’s indigenous people, displaying daily necessities, agricultural tools, and cultural objects of ethnic minorities. Especially unique statues made of tree trunks with many different shapes and positions can be found in Ba Na villages. There are also autographs, images, and documents related to the history of formation and development of Kon Tum diocese. In the large campus, large mother-of-pearl trees, decades old, stand tall, providing shade as if enhancing the majestic beauty of the Bishop’s Palace.

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Through many ups and downs, standing in the midst of wind and rain, this wonderful architectural work still retains its wonderful ancient beauty, like a witness of time.

3. KonKlor communal house – The largest communal house in Vietnam

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Leaving the majestic architectural works above, we invite you to visit KonKlor Communal House – the largest Rong House in Vietnam today. Traditionally, the Rong House is the center of community activities, where important activities of the whole village take place, not only with religious significance but also with political and social significance. KonKlor communal house was built on a very beautiful location, in front is the straight, spacious Tran Hung Dao street, on the right is the beautiful KonKlor suspension bridge, surrounded by endless green sugarcane fields. After a fire in May 2010, KonKlor Communal House was rebuilt, much bigger and more beautiful with a length of 17.2m, width of 6.4m, height of 22m, total area of ​​260m2, total value of 1.8m. billion VND and up to 3,500 working days contributed by people in KonKlor village and artisans from surrounding villages. The unique thing about the architecture of the Rong House is that it is designed in a traditional style with materials made entirely of wood, thatch, bamboo, and leaves with very elaborate and meticulous patterns and motifs. The artisans from KonKlor village have coordinated very well to preserve their unique features on the Rong House. Rotated wood is used to make the 12 pillars of the communal house. This is a type of wood that is very difficult to find and is extremely solid, termite-free, and can withstand the erratic weather here. Looking at this communal house, visitors will deeply understand the architectural features of the Ba Na people and constantly admire the hands of indigenous artisans. The tall, sturdy roof of the KonKlor Communal House is the fulcrum for the soul of the KonKlor village, and the pride not only of the people of Kon Tum but of the entire majestic Central Highlands.

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Next to the Communal House is KonKlor Suspension Bridge – a bridge connecting the two banks of the legendary Dak Bla River, like a charming feature of the landscape here. The bridge is 292m long, 4.5m wide, built in 1993 and completed in 1994. The most beautiful moment of this bridge is the afternoons, when sunset falls, the sun is like a burning ball of fire, the light shines brightly on the vast river. The sunlight dyed the vast bridge red, bringing a magical, magical look that made many tourists stare in amazement and silence, only wishing to preserve this beautiful moment. Standing on the edge of the bridge, looking around, there was only a vast, vast space. I felt so small in front of the rolling mountains and forests before my eyes…

Epilogue: Getting on the bus to leave, each tourist must still have a lot of attachment to this beautiful land of the Northern Central Highlands. It is the legendary Dak Bla river, the steep slopes, the fresh morning in the Bishop’s Palace, the long shadow of the Wooden Church in the afternoon sun, the majestic KonKlor Communal House… And the nostalgia of Kon Tum’s love will last forever, forever…

Ha Oanh

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