Phan Dinh Phung Street

DESTINATIONS vietnam hanoi west lake phan-dinh-phung-street

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Phan Dinh Phung Street

This beautiful shaded avenue leads past sprawling French villas and Chinese mandarin mansions (many occupied by long-serving party members) as well as the gracious but seldom-used Gothic North Door Cathedral (Cua Bac), at the corner of Phan Dinh Phung and Nguyen Bieu streets. The large wheel of stained glass at the cathedral is reminiscent of Renaissance-era artwork in Europe and is enchanting from the inside; try the large front doors or ask around for a caretaker to let you in. Another option is to come on Sunday at 10 am for an English-language service. On the right side of the street stand the tall ramparts of the citadel, the military compound that once protected the Imperial Palace of Thang Long. In a surprising move, army officials in 1999 opened to the public Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, which runs straight through this once secretive space.

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