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Why Stone Church is special ?
The Stone Church is known as stone church or the Holy Rosary church which is located in the heart of Sapa town built by the French from the early 20th century. Before starting to build this structure, the French architect selected carefully about the terrain. The shape and architecture of the church was built by cross. This architecture presented in the roof, bell tower… which created the elegant church.
The whole church was built by stone (walls, floors, bell towers …) that are linked by a mixture of sand, lime and molasses. With total area over 6000m2, Sapa church has enough rooms for the arrangement of the area. The church of Sapa is always a place where holds many traditional cultural activities of ethnic minorities. In the front of the church is tennis area which has unique cultural activities of local people on Saturday. With flute, trumpet leaves, “xòe” dance… created sparkling, magical atmosphere in Sapa. Additionally, because the structure was designed early, the church of Sapa experienced many events of history. Since its establishment, the church always has priests in order to offer parishioners.
What to explore at Stone Church?
The church includes the areas such as the church area, Parish House, angel church, Sacred Gardens, House of the priest, etc. With the area of more than 6.000 m2, the church area consists of 7 compartments of more than 500 m2, the bell-tower of 20 m high. Especially, there is a bell with the height 1.5 m and the weight of 500 kg in the bell-tower. In spite of being casted in 1932, until now it has been undamaged even the words carved on the surface of the bell and the wooden bracket.
Nowadays, Sapa Stone Church is not only a religious destination of most of parishioners here as well as domestic and foreign tourists, but also a main site for holding many cultural traditional activities of the ethnic people here. In every Saturday evening, people usually organize a popular unique cultural activity often called “the love market”. In the quiet atmosphere of the evening in the highland, the sounds of the traditional instruments of the ethnic people such as flute, trumpet, lip lute, pan flute mix with the featured dances of the ethnic girls and guys. Especially, at Christmas, most parishioners also gather here to celebrate, pray, sing and dance. In addition, they also celebrate many interesting games and activities featuring the culture of the ethnic minority people.
How to get to Stone Church?
The best way to visit the nice Church is by car or motorbike. You can hire a private vihechile to get there.
- Unique little church
- Quaint little church in the center of Sapa
- Well-kept Gothic-styled stone architecture
- A great reminder of subjugation
- Beautiful Singing and colourful changing lights
Nhà thờ Đá Sapa, tt. Sa Pa, Lao Cai, Vietnam
Tips for you
Found this church in SaPa Vietnam, initially thought it was closed all the time, but on further questioning at the hotel and also signs at the front door (can be difficult to see at first) it is open daily in the evening about 5.30 (I think, worth checking) for prayers followed by Mass. On entering the church there seemed to be very few people attending but by the time Mass commenced it was jammed packed with overflow into the porch, a vibrant congregation with a palpable heartbeat. Though I didn't understand a word I was engrossed in the sincerity of the people and their attention to the service. Their singing was loud and joyous. Quite a surprise and not what I was expecting. Beautiful community spirit.
This small, but beautiful church is situated next to the main square of Sapa Town. Therefore you cannot miss it. Because Sapa is such a small little town, it is easily accessible from all over the town and a short walk from most of the hotels. Unfortunately it was locked when we passed by, but we could see the stained windows from the outside. There were also a few Hill Tribe women and children sitting on the stairs in front of the main entrance to the church.