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Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Chanthaburi

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by Lavinia Woolf Lavinia (subscribe)
Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting.
Published July 27th 2017
Formerly built in 1909 by the French settlement in Chanthaburi, this is the biggest and most magnificent Christian Church in all of Thailand.

K.Phothiwijit, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception 9604, CC BY-SA 3.0

Most of the attractions in Soi Dao are religious heritage sites, and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Chanthaburi is the most prominent religious site for Christians visiting or living in Thailand.

History

Built in a Gothic and French style, this is Roman Catholic Church is an imposing building that towers over the courtyard. The first church on this site was in 1711 and ever since, this church has been renovated about 4 times in just the 19th century. The church that exists now, took a solid 10 years to build and perfect, with its popular twin spires removed to make the church inconspicuous during the World War II attacks. The building was granted the status of being called a cathedral only in 1944.

Architecture

This Gothic style church built by the French is 60 metres wide and the towers are 20 metres tall each.

Going inside

Mostly Thai and non-catholic, the inside of the church is no less impressive than outside. Huge ornate pillars and rows of artsy and vintage stained glass windows that feature Christian saints make it an eerily impressive place to be at. And like most places of religious worship, there is a vibe of serenity as you walk through the doors of the church and go inside.

The Virgin Mary

The focal statue in the church is the statue of the Virgin Mary on the golden dais. This statue is covered by immaculate gems donated by the local congregation over the years. Clicking a good photograph is no easy feat as about 500,000 gems glisten in the light and make it nearly impossible to focus.

Around the Church

A footbridge just a stone's throw away from the church doors lets you walk to the waterfront region of Chanthaburi.

Where to stay

There a lot of places to stay in the city, as Chanthaburi is an upcoming tourist attraction region in Thailand. One of the many resorts that let you stay close enough to the city without you being hassled by the noise is the Chatrium Golf Resort. Soi Dao also has beds and breakfasts for the budgeted travellers in you.
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Where: 110, Soi 1 MU 10, Chanthanimit, Mueang Chanthaburi District, Chanthaburi 22000, Thailand
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