It is pretty sure that when people ask about where to go in Ninh Bình Vietnam, you will directly think of famous tourist destinations such as Bai Dinh, Trang An, Tam Coc or new places such as Am Tien Cave, Mua Cave, etc. But only a few people know about Chau Son Monastery. Among the immense space in Ninh Bình, the ancient and unique monastery has a beautiful look like the Western castles or chancels.
Chau Son Monastery is the short name of the Thanh Mau Chau Son Monastery, a church for the followers of Christianity in Phu Son Commune, Nho Quan District, Ninh Binh. The monastery is only 35 kilometers from Ninh Binh city, 2 kilometers from Nho Quan Town, so it is relatively easy to move to the church during your Vietnam off the beaten track tours.
The monastery is 100 kilometers from Hanoi. From Hanoi, you follow National Highway 1 to Gian Khau Industrial Park and turn right for more 18 kilometers. On the way, you will see the signpost to the Chau Son Monastery on the right.
Chau Son Monastery is one of the less well-known places because this church is hidden deep in the main road, in a space of mountains, rivers and surrounded by trees. However, when traveling to Vietnam, you will have a considerable opportunity to pay a visit to this place.
The monastery was built in 1939 to serve for the practice of the Cistercian parish. With a long history along with the Gothic architecture built of red bricks without plastering makes the monastery become a special and cozy place.
The monastery is extremely well-designed and unique. Each pillar, each high corner, each stair appears a mossy beauty but it is full of attraction. The white dome of the monastery, which is 21 meters in height, is the sculpture peak of the whole architecture. The geometric details are utilized and used thoroughly to create a dense space in the church.
Also involved in the construction of the monastery, there was also the main architect, a priest in the monastery. Even though Father Platydo Truong Minh Trach had never studied architecture or construction, he studied and designed the church by himself.
He did not elaborate on the drawings as other architects but he only imagined all in his mind. Each line, each brick was gradually formed in his imagination and he gave very detailed instructions to the builders. In the life of Father Platydo as a young monk, the Chau Son Monastery was a masterpiece that he had contributed a lot to create. Thus, having been to this majestic monastery once, your trip to Ninh Binh undoubtedly become one of your best group tours in Northern Vietnam.
In addition to the main building, the monastery’s ground is also an impressive point making you totally immersed by what is commonly referred by young people as ” artistry”. You can see both the left and right side of the monastery are decorated and designed very skillfully. Besides, there are the low plots of grassland covered with sand and gravel. On top of those plots, people lay white stones that are rounded like eggs and alternate with boulders that are even larger than human heads. The entrance is also decorated with gravel and bonsais, which are all taken naturally from the neighboring mountainous areas.
When watching the majestic scenery of the pristine limestone mountains around by yourself, you will exclaim out loud with surprise. With beautiful angles, you can enjoy taking a bunch of breathtaking check-in photos for your Vietnam off the beaten track tours to Ninh Binh.
Peaceful space and poetic scenery make it become definitely a great destination for you to explore Ninh Binh. However, because this is a place of praying, it is necessary to have a quiet atmosphere so the monastery is not always ready to open the gate for you. Tourists are limited. Therefore, if you are welcomed by the monks (usually at Masses at the beginning of the month), please remember to keep quiet. It is not exaggerating to say that the monastery is a great place if you are lucky enough to be there.