Sapa’s stone church has stood since 1902 and is considered one of the most beautiful and regal buildings in town. The 600 m2 church is a rare Catholic relic dating back to the days of French rule and, despite several renovations, it retains its original appearance and charm.
History of the Sapa Stone Church
Upon its completion, Sapa Church served as a sacred site for the town’s Christian population. However, its religious services were considered less important in times of war and, instead, the church served as a storage space for rice and other important supplies.
One of the most notable aspects of this stone church is its building materials. Its walls, floors, bell tower, and the surrounding fence are all constructed from ashlar and not bricks. Although this gives the church a unique and aesthetically pleasing appearance, it also means that regular restoration work is needed.
The huge bell tower can be heard from over a kilometer away and, in the true Christian fashion, faces west – in the direction of Christ’s birthplace of Bethlehem. Its unique construction, grand appearance, and stunning stained glass windows have stood for over a century and the monastery continues to be used by the Christian community to this day.
The Love Market
One of the most fascinating developments in Sapa church’s long history has been the development of the Love Market, which is held every Saturday night. Men and women of the Mong and Dao ethnic groups flock to the market stalls outside the stone church dressed in bold clothing and playing music to reflect their aspirations of finding a partner.
The Love Market is a fascinating and beautiful thing to witness with its old-fashioned charm and romantic, artistic atmosphere. It attracts tourists and locals alike and a visit there is a wonderful way to immerse yourself into a unique culture.