There were 13 kings during Nguyen dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam, but only 7 royal tombs were built due to economic and political reasons. All still exist with its own special architecture. The mausoleums in Hue were built when the king still reigned. That’s why tombs are not a traumatic place but charming scenery with fine carvings in harmony with nature.
7 Must-See Mausoleums in Hue
Massive Gia Long Tomb
Tomb of Gia Long (or Thien Tho Tomb) was built from 1814 to 1820, situated among the Thien Tho mountain ranges in Huong Tra district, Thua Thien – Hue. This is the resting place of King Gia Long (1762 – 1820), the first king of the Nguyen Dynasty.
Gia Long Tomb’s circumference is more than 11 thousand meters. Dai Thien Tho Mountain roles as a front, there are surrounding 14 mountains which form the “green dragon” on the left and ” white tiger” on the right side. The main part in the middle is the tomb of Gia Long King and of Thua Thien Cao Queen.
The mausoleum is located along the river with fine weather around the year. Gia Long Tomb is like a masterpiece painting in term of coordination between nature and architecture.
Majestic Minh Mang Tomb
Minh Mang Tomb is about 12 km from the center of Hue city, located in Cam Khe Mountain, the resting place of the second king of the Nguyen Dynasty.
Built from 1840 to 1843, the tomb is about 26 hectares. This is a massive structure consisting of 40 different constructions. It is located on a beautiful area with hills, rivers and lakes. There are 3 doors: Dai Hong Mon (Grand Red Gate – only open one time in the funeral of Minh Mang), Ta Hong Mon (Left Red Gate) and Huu Hong Mon (Right Red Gate). Inside the Dai Hong Mon, there’s a big campus with two rows of carved stone statues shaped mandarins, elephants and horses.
Tomb of Thieu Tri
Thieu Tri’s tomb is located in Thuan Dao mountain, Cu Chanh District, Thuy Bang Commune, Huong Thuy, about 8 km from Hue city. This is the tomb which took the shortest construction time (completed in 10 months). Thieu Tri mausoleum has no protective wall like others. After King Thieu Tri’s death, the son Tu Duc king chose this area as the resting place of his father. This is a nice combination of Gia Long Tomb and Minh Mang Tomb, situated in a peaceful setting of the countryside with rice fields and lush orchards .
Poetic Tu Duc Tomb
Located in a narrow valley of Thuong Ba Village, Thuy Xuan Commune, Tu Duc (or Khiem Lang) was built from 1864 to 1867 on a 475ha area. Nearly 50 constructions of the tomb carry the words “Khiem” (humble) in their names. Tu Duc Tomb is very liberal and beautiful, reflecting the romantic soul of the poet king.
Not only being a tomb, this was where he came to rest, read book, recite poetry … so the landscape of the tomb is like a large park with a romantic lake and green pines. In particular, on the left of Luong Khiem palace is Minh Khiem Duong, where the King enjoyed music and performances. It is considered one of the oldest theaters in Vietnam.
Simple Duc Duc Tomb
Duc Duc Mausoleum (or An Lang) is located in An Cuu, Hue City. The mausoleum was built in 1889, which is the burial place of King Duc Duc, King Thanh Thai and King Duy Tan. Compared to other tombs of the Nguyen emperors, Duc Duc Tomb architecture is quite simple and modest. The tomb is rectangular and about 3,445 m2, with no stone statues like the other royal tombs. Duc Duc Mausoleum also owns a very good feng shui position.
Harmonic Dong Khanh Tomb
Lang Dong Khanh (or Tu Lang) is King Dong Khanh burial places in Thuong Hai village, Thuy Xuan Commune, Hue city, located between the tomb of Thieu Tri and Tu Duc. The mausoleum was built from 1888 to 1923, carrying the feudal tradition and Western European style.
Ngung Hy Palace is considered the best place where reserves famous lacquer art of Vietnam. The architecture of the tomb follows European style with architectural characteristic, decorating motifs to the materials but still in harmony with the countryside landscape of the region.
Sophisticated Khai Dinh Tomb
Being the resting place of King Khai Dinh, the 12th emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, Tomb of Khai Dinh (or Ung Lang) located on Mount Chau Chu, Thuy Bang commune, Huong Thuy district, about 10km from Hue city.
Although modest in size but the mausoleums in Hue took a lot of time and fund for constructing due to sophisticated and meticulous details. Khai Dinh mausoleum was built in 10 years, from 1920 to 1930.
In particular, Khai Dinh tomb is famous for mural 3 paintings “Nine hidden dragons ” which were decorated for the ceiling Thien Dinh palace. This is considered the most majestic and valuable mausoleums in Hue, Vietnam.
● Consider one of Hue Tours to discover the majestic mausoleums in Hue