Lang Cha Ca – Photographs From 1970


The main shrine with its embossed coat of arms of the bishop

Commissioned in 1799 by Lord Nguyễn Phúc Ánh (later King Gia Long) as the last resting place for his friend and adviser Monsignor Pierre Joseph Georges Pigneau de Béhaine (1741-1799), Bishop of Adran and Apostolic Vicar of Cochinchina, the Lăng Cha Cả mausoleum was demolished in 1983 to make way for a roundabout – for more details see Lăng Cha Cả – from mausoleum…. to roundabout!

Here is a selection of hitherto unseen photographs of this lost monument, taken in 1970 by Frederick P Fellers of Indianapolis, USA.


An exterior view of the Pigneau de Béhaine mausoleum


Another exterior view of the Pigneau de Béhaine mausoleum


The Pigneau de Béhaine mausoleum viewed through barbed wire


A view of the cemetery behind the mausoleum


An interior view of the Pigneau de Béhaine mausoleum with sleeping caretaker


Another interior view of the Pigneau de Béhaine mausoleum showing its ancient wooden pillars and beams


An inscribed stele inside the Pigneau de Béhaine mausoleum


The tomb of Bishop Miche (1864-1873)


A view of one of the tombs in the cemetery at the rear of the mausoleum

Tim Doling is the author of the walking tour guidebook Exploring Hồ Chí Minh City (Nhà Xuất Bản Thế Giới, Hà Nội, 2014) and also conducts Saigon and Chợ Lớn Heritage Tours.

A full index of all Tim’s blog articles since November 2013 is now available here.

Join the Facebook group pages Saigon-Chợ Lớn Then & Now to see historic photographs juxtaposed with new ones taken in the same locations, and Đài Quan sát Di sản Sài Gòn – Saigon Heritage Observatory for up-to-date information on conservation issues in Saigon and Chợ Lớn.

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