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Thu Thiem Church, Convent Classified as City-Level Heritage Sites by Saigon

After years of precarious existence in the face of constant development in the Thu Thiem Peninsula, the two Roman Catholic institutions have finally achieved protected status.

Tuoi Tre reports that Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, recently approved the decision to bestow city-level heritage status to two structures, the Thu Thiem Parish Church and Lovers of the Holy Cross Convent, both in Thu Thiem Ward of District 2.

As city-level architectural heritage sites, the buildings are safeguarded from any construction and exploitative activities within their premises, the municipal People’s Committee noted. Future land use requests regarding the heritage sites must go through the committee.

Throughout 2019, the HCMC Department of Culture and Sports conducted meetings with involved parties, including historians and researchers, to assess the historical importance of the two Catholic institutions to the city. In February, HCMC Party Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan visited the church and convent.

The main gate of the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross in Thu Thiem.

As of 2017, Saigon had 66 city-level architectural heritage sites, the majority of which are Buddhist temples and pagodas. Some notable examples include the HCMC Pasteur Institute, Le Hong Phong High School and Binh Tay Market.

Meanwhile, Saigon officials are also undertaking the major but necessary task of examining the preservation status of some 900 old villas within the city's borders. By October, 86 old villas had been assessed, with 16 attaining the highest level of preservation.

Jean-Louis Tabert, Vicar Apostolic of Cochinchina, formally established the Thu Thiem Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross in 1840. In 1859, Father Gabriel Nguyen Khac Thanh was put in charge of building the first Thu Thiem Church right next to the convent.

[Top photo by Doc Lap via Vietnammoi]

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