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Roman Catholic Wooden Church: A Kon Tum Landmark

Kon Tum is an unassuming but historically significant place in the inland region of Central Highlands Vietnam because of its beautiful Roman Catholic wooden church which makes it a growing tourist destination through time.


Kon Tum is the capital town of the same name province in Vietnam. Its history is one of successive battles and occupation, but also of rich culture. After the People’s Army of Vietnam captured South Vietnam during the Easter Offensive on March 30, 1972, two wings tried to invade it but to no avail. But on March 1975 during the Ho Chi Minh Campaign, it was finally captured, causing a multitude of displaced people to leave the East and seek refuge in the Southern Central Coast.

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The famous Roman Catholic Church was constructed in 1913 in the town capital by a group of French priests. Its design is an interesting combination of traditional Central Highlands style and sophisticated French architecture as the structure looks like a stilt house but with a big and polished seminary look. The floor is made of wood all throughout, raised approximately one meter from the ground. The columns have amazing detailed carvings. The main hall is big and refined. A small museum showcases the life of the local hill tribes of Kon Tum. Paintings, stained-glass windows and other stunning features make up the wooden but world-class church.


But aside from its French influence which persisted since 1851, Kon Tum has also carefully preserved its own culture, as some tribal villages still exist in the suburbs of the town. Today, Kon Tum residents and even foreign tourists still attend masses at the church, a clear sign of a fusion of two cultures that are both different but in harmony.

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