Phat Diem Part II

A view down the centre aisle of Phat Diem with massive wood beams supporting the roof

I'm not a Christian, but I've always had a huge fascination with churches. Unfortunately churches are few and far between in Asia, and generally not as Gothic or as well endowed with stained glass as, say, the churches of Oxford, England or Paris, France. But I loved Phat Diem (near Ninh Binh, Vietnam). Those wood posts holding up the roof are about one meter (one yard) in diameter. In keeping with its Catholic heritage, the church is in the shape of a cross, and there's a pulpit (barely visible in front of the fifth column from the left) built part way down the aisle before the age of electronic amplification so the preacher's voice could project to the back of the church. This is common in larger old European cathedrals.

A good copy of Michaelangelo's Pieta outside Phat Diem

Those familiar with the sculpture of Michaelangelo will recognize his Pieta - one of my favourite works. This is actually a reasonably good copy in one of the three "grottoes" surrounding Phat Diem.