The French Colonial Architectural Masterpieces
Hugely influenced by the French-style architecture, the old buildings in Saigon have for a long time enchanted numerous wanderers who are enamored with the timeworn beauties.
Ho Chi Minh Fine Art Museum – The City’s Cradle of Art
Address: 97 Pho Duc Chinh Street, District 1
Originally designed in the popular Baroque French style, the fine art museum is a sight to behold. Founded in 1987, this gallery displays more than 21,000 valuable artifacts and artworks to visitors. Most of them were collected from the Vietnam War, and each is a testament of how positively the Southeast of Vietnam changed.
This museum is also known for having the most windows in the city and on sunny days, the combination of the colorful sun rays that pass through those glasses with the dark shadows shading the walls, creates a vivid scene that will definitely delight your artistic soul. Going through nearly a century of many hassles and grief, the building still retains its significance to the city’s architecture art.
This museum is also known for having the most windows in the city.
Notre Dame Cathedral – The Main Religious Destination of Saigon
Address: Cong Xa Paris Square, District 1
Located between a big square with a huge traffic load every day, the Notre Dame Cathedral is identified as a special landmark of the urban area. During the construction, most building materials and decorations were brought from France, including bricks, tiles, steel, cement, glass, and other decorative accessories. That may be the reason why the church still retained most of its original color and solidity after 130 years of existence and undergoing so many political upheavals.
The construction was built in a perfectly symmetrical theory with a decrease in height from the front to the back, adorned with a bell tower and 56 colored glass panels. It is this exterior that creates a wonderful lighting effect for the interior, giving such a sense of calm, holy, and solemn every time you step inside this beautiful place.
It is this exterior that creates a wonderful lighting effect for the interior, giving such a sense of calm, holy, and solemn every time you step inside this beautiful place.
Being one of the first Catholic churches in Saigon, Notre Dame Cathedral has always placed high on the list of tourist attractions in term of both religion and architecture. In other words, the church is a popular destination where thousands of both locals and newcomers gather every day not only to pray to the divine and take lovely snapshots but also to have a better understanding of the city’s daily rhythm of life.
Saigon Central Post Office – An Architectural Highlight in The Heart of The City
Address: Cong Xa Paris Square, District 1
Saigon Central Post Office is located next to Cong Xa Paris Square in District 1. The building was built in the French eclectic style of the period between 1886 and 1891, and was designed by the architect named Villedieu and his assistant, Foulhoux. It is designed with an interesting mixture of European and Asian décor.
Situated opposite the Notre Dame Cathedral and near Diamond Plaza, a famous shopping center, the office makes the area more harmonious. On sunny days, the location looks even more vibrant and attracts a huge number of visitors.
Read more: The Beauty of Saigon, Then and Now
Contemporary Art Collections
In recent years, it is obvious that young folk in Saigon are building their own unique and very interesting culture. In the age when the youth has the equal right to cosset art as the seniors, the role of the contemporary art is becoming more significant than ever. Here are some spaces revealing the dynamism of the nation’s contemporary culture.
Saigon Outcast – A Place of International Art Exchange
Address: 188 Nguyen Van Huong Street, Thao Dien Ward, District 2
In recent years, Saigon Outcast becomes more familiar to the majority of Saigon’s youth due to its diverse activities, from art festivals and exhibitions to night parties and skateboarding contests. All take place in a space where visitors are able to immerse themselves in a colorful feast of painted old containers, a vivid yard, and graffiti walls.
There are hundreds of guests, both locals, and expats, gathering every night, which makes this place a perfect location for cultural exchange and making friends. Only by coming here can you understand the full allurement of this most opportune destination of Saigon.
Old Apartments – A New Home of The Artistic Spaces
Saigon’s downtown is now full of modern buildings, but coexisting beside these skyscrapers are still many old apartments which possess multiple values in term of both history and art. Some units are so old that the whole house has turned into black with peeling walls, dark stairs, and a damp atmosphere. Yet, these buildings somehow become the inspiration of many lovely cafe spaces, boutiques, or even restaurants, studios, bakeries, etc.
A lot of people may wonder why owners do not rent or open their shop in a newer, brighter, and cleaner space. Not randomly these old apartments have become home to most of the popular coffee stores in Saigon. It is the fade in time appearing in every peeling paint that creates the original characteristics which are hard to replicate artificially.
All in all, Saigon is definitely a perfect place for you to admire both the old and the new beautiful pieces of art. Enjoy your time while here, and let us know what you thought of the city.
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