Discover Hue's Tombs of the Emperors

If you are history buff and visiting to Vietnam, Hue city is definitely in a Must-Visit in your list. It was served as the Last Royal Ancient Capital of 13 Kings of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. But due to some polictical reasons, it has now only 7 tombs (Mausoleum) of the Emperors built:

1. Gia Long Tomb (Mausoleum): The mausoleum began construction in 1814 and was not completed until 1820. The entire mausoleum is a mountain complex with 42 hills and mountains, large and small, of which Dai Thien Tho is the largest mountain chosen as a precedent of the mausoleum and is the name of the whole mountain. From the banks of the Perfume River to the mausoleum, there is a wide road on both sides growing pine and melancholy soaring, blue, creating a cool, quiet air. Two majestic pillars are located on the outside, signaling the tomb.

Gia Long Tomb

With a circumference of up to 11,234.40 m; Thien Tho Lang includes the following tombs:

  • Quang Hung Tomb of Mrs. Thai Tong Hieu Triet Queen, the second wife of Lord Hien Nguyen Phuc Tan (1620-1687).
  • Vinh Mau's Mausoleum by Anh Tong Hieu Nghia Queen, Lord Nguyen's wife Nguyen Phuc Tran (1650-1725).
  • Truong Phong Mausoleum of Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu (1697-1738).
  • Legendary Mausoleum of Ms. Hung To Hieu Khuong Queen (1738-1811), second wife of Nguyen Phuc Con (Luan) and mother of King Gia Long.
  • Hoang Co tomb of Thai Chief Princess Long Thanh, sister of King Gia Long.
  • Thien Tho Mausoleum of King Gia Long and his wife.
  • Tomb of Thien Tho Huu of Mrs. Thuan Thien Cao Queen, second wife of Gia Long king, mother of Minh Mang king.

Tomb of Gia Long

The entire tomb is a complex of 42 hills and mountains with big and small names, of which Dai Thien Tho is the largest. The tomb of the king lies on a large flat hill. Dai Dai Tho used to be the language project, after that there were 7 mountains as post-occipital, on the left and right side, there were 14 mountains of left dragon and white tiger. The tomb is divided into 3 areas:

  • The middle part is the tomb area of the king and Mrs. Thua Thien Cao Queen. Crossing the adjoining courtyard with solemn stone statues and 7 courtyard levels is Buu Thanh at the top of the hill.
  • To the right of the tomb is an impregnated area with Minh Thanh Palace worshiping the Emperor and First Queen
  • On the left of the tomb is Bi Dinh, now there is only a large stele with an inscription of the holy deed of King Minh Mang praising his father, carved exquisitely and exquisitely.
  • Gia Long Mausoleum is a masterpiece of the arrangement between nature and architecture. The first king of the Nguyen Dynasty rested in a quiet and poetic space.

2. Minh Mang Tomb (Mausoleum): In February 1820, Emperor Gia Long passed away, the fourth prince Nguyen Phuc Dam was put on the throne, taking the title Minh Mang or Minh Menh. As a king for 7 years, Minh Mang sent people to find land to build Son Lang for themselves. Geography Le Van Duc has chosen a good land in the area of Cam Ke Mountain, near the Bang Lang junction, the confluence of the two sources of Ta Trach and Huu Trach to form the poetic Huong River. But it took 14 years to consider and choose, until 1840, the new king decided to build his tomb in this place. The king changed the name of Cam Ke mountain (belonging to An Bang hamlet, Huong Tra district) to Hieu Son and called the tomb Lang Hieu. The king personally reviewed and approved the blueprints offered by the officials Bui Cong Huyen, Truong Dang Que and the Guardian guard. In April 1840, the construction of Hieu Lang began. The King sent officials Le Dang Danh, Nguyen Trung Mau and Ly Van Phuc to lead soldiers and boatmen to dig here to build La Thanh lake.

Minh Mang Tomb

In August 1840, Minh Mang came to check that the work of excavating Chenghai Lake was not satisfactory, so he demoted the officers and suspended the work. A month later, the work was just continued when Minh Mang fell ill in January 1841. King Thieu Tri ascended the throne, only one month later (February 1841) sent the mandarins Ta Quang Cu, Ha Duy Phien and Nguyen Tri Phuong commanded nearly 10,000 soldiers and construction workers to continue the work in accordance with the plan left by his father. On August 20, 1841, King Minh Mang's body was buried in Buu Thanh, but the construction of the tomb until early 1843 was completed. From a desolate mountainous region, through the hands of labor and human creativity, a majestic mausoleum has been created, both brilliant in architecture, in harmony with nature and profound by value, thought.

Tomb of Minh Mang

3. Thieu Tri Tomb (Mausoleum): Thieu Tri mausoleum is based on Thuan Dao mountain, in the territory of Cu Chanh village, Thuy Bang commune, Huong Thuy district, about 8 km from Hue citadel. Compared to the tomb of the predecessors and successors, Thieu Tri tomb has its own characteristics. This is the only tomb facing northwest, a direction rarely used in palace architecture and tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty. 8 km from the tomb, the towering Mount Cham is selected as a criminal record. The Perfume River flows through the front as a road illustrator.

Thieu Tri Tomb

Even choosing "Ta dragon" and "Huu Bach tiger" also have unusual features: Vong Canh hill on this side of the river was chosen as "dragon adoration", but "tiger ambush" is the Ngoc Trang mountain on the other side of the river. . Behind, Kim Ngoc mountain in the clouds was chosen to be post-occipital; At the same time, the architects added a large mound of soil right behind the mausoleum to make the second post-occipital. Another peculiar feature is the mausoleum without La Thanh surrounding. If at Gia Long mausoleum, La citadel is made of bricks, it is replaced by countless mountains and hills surrounded by a natural, majestic belt to protect the sleep of the Nguyen Dynasty's emperor. At Thieu Tri Mausoleum, rice fields, the surrounding green gardens are considered La Thanh. It is the La La nature that makes the landscape of Thieu Tri tombs serene and peaceful.

Tomb of Thieu Tri

4. Tu Duc Tomb (Mausoleum): Emperor Tu Duc ruled our country for 36 years (1847-1883), the longest time compare to any Emperor of the Nguyen's Dynasty. Although he had about 103 wives and concubines, he was unable to have children as he had mumps  when he was 20. Then he had to adopt 3 nephews to become adopted sons. He had wrote about his biography on Stone Stele in Tomb's Area. This stele is the biggest of its type in Vietnam with 20 tons weight, and had to be brought here from Thanh Hoa Province over 500 kilometers away - a trip that took Elephants and Horses four years to bring here.

Tu Duc Tomb

Tu Duc started his tomb long before die in 1883. The major area of the tomb were built from 1864 to 1867, along with future temple buildings that used as a royal placace for Tu Duc and his wives when he was still alive. Construction of the tomb needed too much labor and hearvy tax that there was an abortive coup against Tu Duc in 1866.

Amenities for King's living are different to any other tomb in all over Vietnam. Here, the Emperor could enjoy boat trip & poetry on the lake, hunting on the tiny island in the middle of the lake. He could also enjoy performace in Xung Khiem Pavilion with his concubines. After Boat Trips and Hunting on the lake, the boats could moor at Pavilion of Du Khiem, from here the Emperor and his entourage could walk directly west into the palace area of the tomb.

Tomb of Tu Duc

After Tu Duc died in 1883, his adopted son - Kien Phuc took over as the new Emperor. But beecause Kien Phuc ruled the country onlu seven months before poisoned to death, so tomb was not ebuilt for him. Instead, he was put in a small corner of Tu Duc's tomb. Between 2 tombs of Tu Duc and his son Kien Phuc is the tomb of the Empress Le Thien Anh - A primary wife of Tu Duc.

Despite this was planned as a Tomb for Tu Duc, but infact he was buried in a different, secret location in Hue. To keep the are secret for the Kinh, over 200 laborers who built tomb and buried the king were all forced to die in the secret route. Up to this day, the real tomb of Emperor Tu Duc still remains hidden.

5. Duc Duc Tomb (Mausoleum): The Duc Duc tomb, known as An Lang, is a relic in the ancient ruins of Hue, the burial place of King Duc Duc, the fifth king of the Nguyen Dynasty. The mausoleum is located in Tay Nhat village, An Cuu village, formerly belonging to Huong Thuy district, now in An Cuu ward, Hue city, less than 2 km from the city center.

Duc Duc Tomb

The concept of the Duc Duc tomb is currently used to refer to the entire architectural complex located in an area of ​​nearly 6 hectares, including the Emperor Duc Duc tomb, the queen and 42 tombs of the royal princes and the tombs. of the people of the Quartet sect of Nguyen Phuoc clan (sect of King Duc Duc).

Tomb of Duc Duc

An Lang is located in the central area, an area of ​​about 1ha. The tomb consists of 2 areas: the tomb area and the worshiping area are placed parallel to each other. Both areas have walled walls. The mausoleum faces the northwest, taking Phuoc Qua hill as a criminal record, the Tam Thai mountain behind it as a post-occipital and the stream flows around in front to clear the waterway.

6. Dong Khanh Tomb (Mausoleum): Dong Khanh is the eldest but is put on the throne last. At that time, when King Hiep Hoa was killed (1883), Ton That Thuyet and Nguyen Van Tuong founded Prince Ung Dang (adopted son of Tu Duc, the second younger brother of Ung Duong) to become king, taking the reign of Kien Phuc. At the throne for 8 months, Kien Phuc died, his younger brother, Ung Lich, succeeded him and named Ham Nghi. Ham Nghi ruled for a year, the capital fell (5-7-1885), had to leave the throne according to Ton That Thuyet to paint Room Tan So, broadcast Can Vuong against the French. The courtiers and the government in charge put Ham Nghi's brother on the vacant throne, which is Dong Khanh. Dong Khanh became a king for 3 years, then died at the age of 25. The king did not expect himself to die so early, so he never worried about his future birth. Dong Khanh Mausoleum exists, actually the place where King Dong Khanh stayed permanently in the temple of his father. The birth of this mausoleum is quite a lot of obstacles.

Dong Khanh Tomb

After he ascended the throne, Dong Khanh found that his father's tomb in Cu Si did not have a temple so he ordered the Ministry of Public Construction to build a temple nearby to worship his father. Dien Tu Tu commenced in February 1888, and completed in October of that year. Dong Khanh took the tablet of Kien Thai Vuong to worship in the temple and at the same time continued to complete the project. However, while the construction work continued, Dong Khanh fell ill and died suddenly. King Thanh Thai (1889-1907) succeeded in the context of the country facing many difficulties and economic exhaustion, so it was impossible to build a mausoleum and tomb for the previous king, and had access to Truy Tu power to change to Ngong Hy to worship the king. Dong Khanh. The king's body was also buried simply on a hill called Ho Thuan Son, 30 meters away from Ngung Hy insulation to the west. The whole tomb is called Tu Lang.

In August 1916, after being enthroned for 3 months, Emperor Khai Dinh (1916-1925), the son of King Dong Khanh, renovated the temple and built the tomb for his father. The entire tomb area from Bai Dinh, Bi Dinh to Buu Thanh and Huyen Cung were built under Khai Dinh, until July 1917. Particularly, Ngung Hy and Ta Huu Tung Vien; Ta Huu Tung Tu continued to be repaired until 1923.

Tomb of Dong Khanh

Built in such a long process, Dong Khanh Tomb imprints two architectural schools of two different historical periods. If the traditional style really stops in the Tu Duc tomb architecture and the modern style is clearly shown in the later Khai Dinh tomb architecture, Dong Khanh tomb is a transshipment step. The rather isolated existence of the two mausoleums and lentils areas further clarifies this. In the impregnated area, in general, the buildings are still old: the architecture of the palace resembles the snail in the main hall and the dependent houses, still the splendid rows of golden lacquered lacquer pillars with decorative projects. Quartet, quartet ... familiar. It is noteworthy that Ngut Hy Palace, which is considered to be the most reserved place of the art of gilding lacquer painting, is well known in Vietnam. On the interior plates are a series of cells decorated with topics of apricot blossom, coniferous leaves, continuous pressure, bamboo ... with lacquer, mosaic and emboss. Especially in the main hall there are also 24 drawings of the paintings of the Twelve Quaternary stories about filial examples in China.

7. Khai Dinh Tomb (Mausoleum): Khai Dinh ascended the throne in 1916 at the age of 31. Immediately after taking the throne, he built many palaces, palaces and tombs for himself and the royal family such as Kien Trung palace, An Dinh palace, Truong An gate, and gates. Hien Nhon and Chuong Duc gates, especially Ung Lang.

In order to build his life, Khai Dinh consulted many reports of geographers who eventually chose Chau Chua mountain as the location to build the tomb. In this position, the tomb of Khai Dinh took a low hill in the front as a criminal record; taking Mount Chop Vung and Kim Son mountain to make "Ta dragon fruit" and "Huu Bach tiger"; There is a slot from Châu Châu that flows from left to right to create a "water seal", called "minh minh". The king changed the name of Chau Chu mountain - both after the occipital and the "ground" of the mausoleum - Ung Son citadel and called the mausoleum after Ung mountain.

Khai Dinh Tomb

The mausoleum was started on September 4, 1920 by Le Van Ba, the pre-Admiral of the Army, and it took 11 years to complete it. Participating in the construction of the tomb, there are many famous craftsmen and artisans all over the country such as Phan Van Tanh, Nguyen Van Kha, Ky Duyet, Cuu Horn ... protection allowed him to raise 30% tax across the country and use that money to make mausoleums. This action of Khai Dinh has been harshly condemned by history.

Tomb of Khai Dinh

Compared to the tombs of the previous kings, Khai Dinh tomb has a much more modest area, with dimensions of 117 m × 48.5 m but the opposite is extremely elaborate and time consuming. In order to build a mausoleum, Khai Dinh allowed people to go to France to buy iron, steel, cement, Ardoise tile ..., to send boats to China, Japan to buy porcelain and stained glass ... to construct works on the hill.

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