Da Lat’s Domaine de Marie is more than a church
Among the famous tourist destinations in the city is Domaine de Marie Church. This is a place which Catholic or non-Catholic visitors should drop by to take a deep breath of fresh air, admire the lovely landscape, and enjoy a view of the hilly city.
Construction of Domaine de Marie started in 1930 and was complete in 1943. It features the blended architecture of France and Viet Nam's Central Highlands. Its roof structure is like that of nha rong (communal house), a popular type of house on stilts in the Central Highlands, while French influence can be seen on the walls, which feature stained glass windows, and on the façade of the building where there is a round stained glass window.
Visitors often have a sense of peace and relaxation at the church given the beauty of the area around the church, created by pine trees and a lovely garden in the back yard. As the church stands atop a hill, it provides a good view of the neighborhood.
The history of this Catholic church is attached to Suzanne Humbert, the wife of Jean Decoux, the French governor-general of Indochina from 1940 to 1945. She contributed significantly to the church construction process. Her tomb is still located inside the church as her last wish.
Ever since its establishment, the church has been a place where many local girls, especially from ethnic minority groups, have been brought up and trained to become embroiderers by the church’s nuns.
An area inside the church is used for selling fashion and souvenir items made from wool and embroidered paintings at reasonable prices.
A girl identified as Mai said nuns at Domaine de Marie Church open their arms to orphans and underprivileged children, even one year-old toddlers. They raise those unlucky children, give them a home and then teach them a craft to earn a living.
Domaine de Marie Church is at 1 Ngo Quyen Street, Ward 6, Da Lat City.