Local officials have given the green light to commence renovations after reports from local and international experts recommended urgent repair and restoration work on this popular landmark, Asian Trails reported in a news update earlier this week.

A leading tour operator in Vietnam Asian Trails confirmed that entering the cathedral was no longer possible for tourists.

Restoration work will take up until 2020 to complete. City officials have already erected barriers around the cathedral and traffic around the holy site has been restricted.

Catholics who want to attend Mass here will be able to enter the cathedral via the main entrance only. Other visitors are not allowed access.

The Notre Dame Cathedral dates back to the late 19th century. Built in the style of the Neo-Romanesque period, it has two square towers tipped with metal sheeted spires.

Vietnamese Catholics, tourists and foreigners regularly visit the cathedral for Sunday Mass at 0930, registering one of the highest attendance rates worldwide. It is the only Catholic church offering an English mass in the city.

By Don Ross - TTR Weekly with Asian Trails - July 21, 2017