The ‘strange’ architecture of the treasure is located in the middle of the mountains and forests of the Central Highlands

City – Kon Tum Cathedral wooden church (referred to as Kon Tum Cathedral, located in Kon Tum city) is considered a treasure located in the middle of the Central Highlands mountains and forests with unique religious architecture, over a hundred years old. years, is the pride of indigenous people for generations.

Coming to Kon Tum Cathedral, visitors always feel peace and serenity. In the first few months of 2021, the church had to be closed, with minimal restrictions on people coming in and out to visit and attend services due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The church has now reopened.

The 'strange' architecture of the treasure located in the middle of the mountains and forests of the Central Highlands photo 1
Inside Kon Tum Cathedral Wooden Church

Master A Den, representative of the Church, said that Kon Tum Diocese is the most special in the Central Highlands because its parishioners are all ethnic people. “There are nearly 12,000 parishioners here, living in 10 villages, mainly Ba Na people. Most of the people work in the fields and do not know how to do business or trade. Previously, the church opened a school that taught both culture (Ba Na language) and career orientation. Now, since kindergarten, children have learned Vietnamese, so all children can study outside public schools,” Mr. A Den said.

According to the church representative, the Cathedral Parish stipulates that each month there is a baptism ceremony for children on the first Monday of the month, with a number of about 30 children or more/time. In addition, every Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon still serve mass.

“Due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, in 2020 and the outbreak from the end of January 2021 in Gia Lai, the Cathedral Parish minimized the possibility of visitors. Particularly after the outbreak in Gia Lai, the Church closed and did not receive visitors. The parish requires people to attend Mass with only 30 people or less, a maximum of 50 people on Sundays, and strictly comply with the Ministry of Health’s epidemic prevention measures such as washing hands and disinfecting upon arrival. gate, measuring body temperature, wearing a medical mask, sitting at a distance of 2-3 meters in the church,” Mr. A Den said, adding that he still reminds people to be cautious amid the complicated developments of the epidemic in India. India and neighboring countries.

According to Mr. A Den, Kon Tum Cathedral was designed and initiated by a French priest, built in 1913, completed in 1918 and exists today. In the period 1994 – 1996, the building was renovated to add 2 corridors on both sides of the porch. In 2013, on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, the church was slightly repainted on the outside.

These days, the church is always open to serve tourists, and there is always someone reminding everyone to wear masks and comply with epidemic prevention measures. Must go to church in the afternoon, the sunset gradually disappears behind the ancient linden trees. The old porcelain roots bursting with white flowers, along with the red bougainvillea flowers adorn the ancient relics, allowing us to fully appreciate the harmonious design of Roman (French) architecture and the wooden stilt houses of the Ba Na people. Through the upheavals of the years, the wooden church still stands proudly, like the indomitable spirit of the people of the Central Highlands.

The materials used to build the Kon Tum Cathedral were very special, made entirely of the best wood at that time, Ca chit (red bamboo) – a typical wood of the Central Highlands. Through the skillful hands of artisans from Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai… the project is glued together with tenons without using nails. The church is the only remaining Basilica-style wooden masterpiece in the world.