Being the prime retreat for wealthy French from Saigon during the colonial era, Dalat is not only famous for its colonial architecture, but also features interesting churches.
The most famous church of Dalat is actually the Rooster Church, which is the center of catholic worship in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The official name is Nha Tho Chanh Toa Da Lat or just the Dalat Cathedral, but since there is a metal rooster on top of the 47-meter high bell tower, everybody calls it Rooster Church. It was built 1931 in European Gothic style with money collected by the catholic priests of Dalat.
The main doors are facing Lang Bian Mountain, the highest mountain of the region.
Another interesting church in Dalat City is the Domaine de Marie, with its two adjacent convents. The church is built in a captivating design that combines 17th century French style with a roof similar to that of local stilt houses of ethnic minorities. Nowadays the nuns support themselves by selling handicrafts and fruit. The Domaine de Marie is also known as Cherry Church, because it used to be surrounded by cherry trees.
Many people from ethnic minorities in the Highlands are actually Christians. Since the church, contrary to the government, focussed on some charity for these groups, they abandoned their original animistic religion in favor of monotheism. That’s the reason why you might encounter small centers of worship on the countryside around Dalat as well.