Wooden Church in Kom Tum

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The wooden church in Kom Tum was built nearly 90 years ago. The site combines western styles with the Central Highlands’ culture.

Kon Tum Town lies on a small plain, 525m above sea level, and by the Dakla River which is a small tributary of the imposing Poco River. This used to be an administrative centre of French colonialists in the Central Highlands and Catholic priests came here in an early time after the church was built.

The chief church Kon Tum, or the wooden church as dearly called by residents, was built in 1913 and completed in 1918.

The church was totally made of ca chit wood under the Roman style in combination with the stilted house architecture of Ba Na ethnic minority people.

It is a self-contained site with a basilica, a guest house, a showroom of ethnic and religious products and a communal house – typical of the Central Highlanders.

In the church campus also stands an orphanage and a workshop of fine arts products of ethnic minority groups. The basilica is beautified with immeasurably high communal houses and highly artistic statues made of tree roots.

From a far distance, tourists can see the bell tower of the church in warm brown colour which is dominated in the blue sky of the Central Highlands. Passing streets and walking in Nguyen Hue Street, tourists enter the spacious basilica and have a feeling of being minimized amid two lines of wooden columns.

The saint palace of the church was decorated with artistic patterns which bear the Central Highlands’ identity, creating solemn but close impressions.

There are a great variety of stained glass frames on which classic references of the Bible were drawn. These frames are designed to get lights and create colourful beauty for the basilica.

All the walls were built with soil mixed with straw, a way of building houses by residents in the central region of Vietnam. They are still solid and beautiful although nearly a century has passed.