Once known as the Hotel De Ville, this is probably the most photographed building in the city. It was modeled after the City Hall of Paris it is currently the house of city government in Ho Chi Minh City and is considered to be the city’s center.
This 1880 basilica style cathedral is the largest church ever built in the French Empire. At first glance, it appears to be brick built , but in fact the façade is made of red tiles brought over from Marseilles.
Designed by the French archietectGustave Eiffel between 1886 and 1891. It features carvings of faces of famous philosophers and scientist. it remains one of the busiest post offices in the country. The portrait at the rear of the building’s interior is that of Ho Chi Minh.
Cao Dai, meaning “high palace was founded in 1926 by a mystic and 300 of his followers. Theirs is a unique belief that elaborates on the traditional Vietnamese blend of Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and ancetor worship with elements of Christianity and other religions.
Although the pagoda itself isn’t the largest or most elaborate in the city, but it is most popular for its amazing incense. Besides incense the other thing that stands out about ThienHau are the elaborate dioramas decorated the roof and walls. Created with porcelain in the early 1900s, the dioramas show several different scenes, for exemple duels on horseback and fighting in arenas. lots of characters are displayed, ranging such as dragons, turtles,etc. The pagoda is dedicated to ThienHau, a traditional Chinese goddess who is not specifically Buddhist or Taoist. Instead, she is revered by seafaring cultures as having the ability to trip over sea, by mat or cloud, to protect and rescue stranded seafarers. In fact, the pagoda was originally built as an expression of gratitude by 19th century Chinese immigrants for her protection during their initial trip to Saigon by sea.
Is an historic Buddhist pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam. Built in 1744, it is one of the oldest temples in the city. Many Buddhas are worshipped here.
Oldest Pagoda in Hue. Built in 1601 the 69 foot tower is the official symbol of the city of hue in much the same way as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris or the Empire State Building is to NYC. Supposedly, a female mystic decreed that whoever founded a pagoda on this bluff above the Perfume River would also found a great dynasty. Nguyen Hoang gambled on the mystic’s prophecy and his lineage all the way down to the very last Vietnamese emperor stood as a testament to her wisdom.
Once the royal seat of the Nguyen emperors, this is an UNESCO World Heritage site. Built in 1805, this huge fortress is comprised of three concentric enclosures: the Civic; the Imperial; and the Forbidden Purple City. It is an Asian wonderland of over 160 palaces, pavilions, temples, ponds, gardens, gates and halls. Hué served as the administrative centre of southern Vietnam in the 17th and 18th centuries. Gia Long, first ruler of the Nguyen dynasty, made it the national capital of united Vietnam in 1802, a position that it held until 1945. It was selected because it is situated in the geographical centre of the country and with easy access to the sea.
Within the Imperial (Purple) City, this is the grand throne place of the Nguyen Emperors. The palace is dominated by 80 red lacquered wooden columns ornately decorated with golden dragons, which were the emblem of the Nguyen Dynasty.
Dedicated to the veneration of EmpreorGia Long’s parents is most noteworthy for the large gargoyle-like stone dragons that keep vigil over the courtyard.
This the tallest and according to some Vietnamese the most beautiful structure in the city. The pavilion memorializes those who’ve helped perpetuate the dynasty.
Four of the nine Dynastic Funerary Urns cast between1835 and 1837 representing the might of the nine Nguyen Emperors. These urns each weigh two tons and were served to both collect heaven’s mandaee and celebrate the country’s beauty and dynastic stability. The hips of each urn are empbossed with 17 separate depictions of plants, landscapes, animals, boats, and weapons
Considered by many to be the most elegant tomb in Vietnam, the masudoleum was designed by the king himself. It was said that the king prefered the quiet comforts of his future tomb to that of his own palace
Port: Halong Bay city
The Bay is a natural marvel of nearly 2,000 distinctive islands studding this 620 square mile offshoot of the Tonkin Gulf. According to legend the bay was formed when a dragon plunged into the sea, whipping it tail from side to side in a frenzy that carved the region into a grand archipelago. The name Ha Long means dragon descending. Geology of course, tells a much different story crediting erosion and the rise and fall of tides to theses limestone rock formations
Located in the old French Quarter of Hanio
Believing that the Presidential Palace was to grand for him, Ho chi Minh, on becoming president of the Democratic Republic of vietnam in 1954 arranged for a modest wooden structure to be built in a corner of the palace’s grounds. The two story structure, modeled on an ethnic minority stilt house,Contained two simple rooms: a study and a bedroom, both kept as they were when the man was alive.
The pagoda was originally built on a single wooden pillar set in a pond and designed to resemble a lotus flower.
Oldest and possibly the finest architectural complex in Hanoi, the Temple of Literature was established in 1070 and founded in honor of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. It served as a center for higher learning for more than seven centuries.
This square pook dominates the third courtyard.
Single story pagoda built around many brick stupas. Considered to be Vietnam's oldest pagoda, built by Emperor Ly Nam De in the 6th century originally build on the banks of the Re Fiver but due to heavy erosion, it was shifted to its present site in Ho Tay.
Ho Chi Minh CityAll photos courtesy of Rosemarie Visconti