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Photo's of Tay Ninh Temple
9th Infantry
Back Button Updated: 10 February 2001

Tay Ninh Temple

Photo courtesy of Richard Hargrove

Ceremonies and other forms of worship take place in the Holy See, which was
built under the direction of Mr. Pham Cong Tac. This Great Divine Temple stands
at the center of the Tay Ning Province, and is often the center of focus for tourism.
Pham Cong Tac was not an engineer, nor an architect, but built the temple after
receiving a vision. He built the outside of the temple so as to recognize the three
principle religions. "The Catholicism is marked by its verticality (bell tower and
drum tower), the Buddhism by its horizontality (the Nine Sphere Palace in the middle
and Octagonal Palace on the left), and the Islamism by its sphericity." The temple is
used for exoteric prayer and worship.

The Holy See was built in 1928 in Tay Ninh. The location where the temple stands today
was chosen wisely under many circumstances. The Tay Ninh province was ideal in several
respects for the location of Cao Dai headquarters: it had a tradition of political dissent,
mixed with an aura of religious respectability, it was isolated from the mainstream of
colonial society and yet was not far from Saigon, and it was also strategically located near
the Cambodian border.

The front tower is called, "NGHINH PHONG DAI-(Tower of Saker) {that's the tower
under the DRAGON Horse}. The back tower or, "BAW(?) QUA'I DA'I-(Octogonal Divine
Palace of Maha. Manvantara). Anyway, during "great ceremonies, children's chorus are
standing." (IN BOTH TOWERS) "The modulations of this invisible chorus (Divine Orchestra)
mysteriously escape into the interior of the Great Temple through the lattices placed
on the top of cupulas."

Now do you know more than you wanted to?