Kim Lan Church | Kim Lan Ceramics Hanoi
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The Kim Lan Sub Parish Church is a unique religious and cultural destination located in the Kim Lan Pottery Village, Gia Lam District, Hanoi. With its traditional architecture and a history of over a century, this church is an important symbol of the Kim Lan Clan.
The church was built with the dedication and talent of the people in the Kim Lan Sub Parish. Combining Eastern and Western architecture, the church exudes a solemn and traditional beauty. Outside, the serene scenery with lush trees and vibrant red architecture creates a picture of tranquility and serenity.
Inside the church, visitors can admire exquisite wall paintings, sacred statues, and solemn altars. Religious ceremonies and sacred activities are often held here, creating a sacred and dignified atmosphere.
The Kim Lan Sub Parish Church is not only a place for religious practices but also a tourist attraction showcasing the diversity of culture and history. It is an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of the strong connection between people and spirituality.
Visiting the Kim Lan Clan Church, tourists can not only explore the beauty of religion but also experience the marvel and depth of Vietnamese culture through architecture and traditional religious activities.
Around 1867, the ancestor Truong and some people from Kim Quan Village (Kim Lan) traveled to Bac Ninh and Bac Giang for trading purposes.
On their way back to Cam Village, Tu Son District, Bac Ninh, they encountered heavy rain and strong winds. They sought shelter in a house in Cam Village and were warmly welcomed. Grateful for the kind hospitality, before parting ways, they invited the nuns to visit their village whenever possible. Despite the long distance and rough roads, the nuns visited Kim Quan Village. Impressed by the village's proximity to the river and its beautiful scenery, the nuns decided to establish a religious clan there.
Moved by the warm reception and assistance they received on that rainy night, some elders agreed to convert to Christianity. From then on, the elders and their descendants received religious education and the necessary teachings of a believer. After nearly two years, they and their descendants received the sacraments.
In 1869, the Bishop of Bac Ninh allowed the establishment of the Kim Quan Clan Church under the jurisdiction of Bac Ninh. In 1870, the Truong family (born in 1847, at the age of 33) was appointed as the head of the Kim Quan Clan.
In the following years, some families from other clans in the village also recognized the practical connection between the teachings of Christianity and their lives and joined the faith. By 1883, there were six clans participating in the Kim Quan Sub Parish, including the Truong, Dang, Nguyen, Le, Do, and Dao clans.
In 1915, to have a place for worship and preaching, the Sub Parish members contributed their efforts and resources to build five small churches on land belonging to Mr. Ty Tap (currently the location of Mr. Phap's house) and Mr. Hoa (where Mr. Truong resided). In 1920, as the Kim Quan Clan grew, the church and the premises needed a more convenient location. Therefore, they exchanged five acres of land in the North for four and a half acres at the current location in Xom Chua.
In 1928, as the number of followers continued to increase, the Bishop decided to build a parish church in the north of the Red River (now known as Tu Dinh parish) with Father Dominique Toan as the main clergy, overseeing the Long Bien, Gia Lam, Kim Quan, Ngoc Dong, and Xuan Thuy clans. In 1931, the parish priest intended to build several churches in the diocese, including a church in Kim Quan. However, due to various reasons, the plan was not realized.
In 1944, with the support of people from near and far, the construction of the Kim Quan Clan Church resumed. Among the supporters, there were even non-Christians, such as the Doi family (Vu clan), Han Quynh family (Vu clan), Tru family (Le clan), and Thu Nho family (Nguyen clan). The Dao clan sold four Huong titles to Dai, Hien, Phuc, and Hue, as well as two Bô Lão titles and two acres of land, which provided enough funds to build the church.
By the end of 1945, the Kim Lan Church was completed, consisting of seven aisles, 27 meters long and 11 meters wide, with a European Gothic-style spire. The church's design was drawn by the master Oanh, the carpentry work was carried out by Mr. Pho and his group of carpenters.
The main structure of the church is the Sanctuary, which houses the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue, flanked by statues of saints and the Virgin Mary. Below is the main area, with one side dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and the other for the New Testament, representing the Word of God. In the center, between the Chancel and the Word of God, stands the crucifix. Below are the altars and the pulpit.
During worship and prayer services (looking up from below), men sit on the right side, while women sit on the left side. Finally, there is the bell tower.
Since 2000, the Kim Lan Sub Parish Church has added a stone cave on the right side of the spacious church yard, covering an area of 40 square meters. The cave is 9 meters deep and 10 meters high.
The stone cave was built using 10,000 bricks and 100 cubic meters of stone purchased from Ninh Binh. The orphaned stones were used for decoration, covering an area of 60 square meters, purchased from Bai Che, Hoa Binh Province. The construction was designed and supervised by architects from the Ministry of Construction, with direct guidance and construction by architect Nguyen Hung Viet. The project took two years and cost a total of 500 million dong, not including voluntary contributions from hundreds of clan members.
The stone cave, called Our Lady of Fatima (or Our Lady of Mancôi), is one of the most beautiful caves in the North at present.
Since 2017, the new church, as it appears today, has been reconstructed and completed on October 13, 2022.