Khai Dinh Tomb - Imperial Tomb of Khai Dinh (Hue, Vietnam)

Khai Dinh was an extremely unpopular ruler during his lifetime, mostly due to his close collaboration with the French. To finance the tomb, he requested permission of the French advisors to raise taxes on the peasantry, which they allowed. Although he died prematurely at age 40 of tuberculosis, his son and successor, Bao Dai, completed the tomb several years later. Bao Dai would prove to be the final ruler of the Nguyen dynasty and lived until 1997. Thus, the Tomb of Khai Dinh became the last grand imperial tomb in Vietnam.

In order to complete the tomb, the rulers had to raise national tax to 30%. By then Vietnam sovereignty was lost to French invaders and Western culture was prevailing all over the country. Consequently Khai Dinh tomb is the result of the intermingling of Oriental and Occidental, Roman and Gothic style, Hindu and Buddhist style, as well as ancient and modern features. It’s also known as Ung Lang

The overall construction of the tomb is an emerging rectangular structure with 127 steps, leaning against the mountain.- Entering the tomb area, one should climb a 37 steps gate with the biggest dragons in the country forming the side walls. In the courtyard, line two rows of left and right altar built according to traditional configuration of "double storeys with eight roofs", but all the rafters are made of reinforced concrete.

You have to go up three more levels in order to reach the altar monument. The Khai Thanh Palace is the main room of the Thien Dinh palace, which contains many connecting rooms. The walls are densely decorated and inlaid with elaborate glass and porcelain designs. The floor is covered with enameled flowers bricks and the ceiling is painted with nine dragons, appearing in fine fleeting clouds.

The most notable place in Khai Dinh Tomb is Thien Dinh Palace, which contains bronze statues and steles of the King. Walls are densely decorated and inlaid with elaborate glass and porcelain designs. The most highlighted feature of this room is the intricate painting on the ceiling, illustrating nine dragons amidst fleeting clouds. Inside the tomb, there are two statues modelled the King: the one on the throne was sculptured in Paris in 1920 by Ducuing and Barbedienne.

The Imperial tomb of Khai Dinh Hue has been declared the most majestic imperial tomb of throughout Vietnam. Built as a monument and mausoleum, this impressive funeral tourist spot it took to build 11 years, from 1920 year to year 1931, and is the last Hue Imperial tomb.

Location: Hue, Vietnam
Address: Thuy Bang, Huong Thuy, Hue Province
Opening hours: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Entrance fee: adult/child 100,000/20,000d

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