Located in Huong Tho commune, Huong Tra town in Thua Thien-Hue
province, the tomb of King Gia Long has the best feng shui position among the
royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty.
As the first Emperor of the Nguyen dynasty, Gia Long's (1762-1820) choice of
burial sites established the architectural pattern that his successors adopted
for their own tombs.
The tomb of Gia Long is located 16km from the centre of Hue, on top of the Thien
Tho mountain, the west bank of the Huong river.
Construction of the tomb began in 1814 and was completed in 1820. Located in a
vast land covered with a wide canopy of old pine trees, the mausoleum was built
according to a monumental but simple design.
The tomb of Gia Long and his primary wife are enclosed within a walled
quadrangle, which is approached from a series of terraces that slope down toward
a ceremonial courtyard flanked with stone statues of animals and government
Just to the south of the courtyard is a lake. On the opposite shore are two
huge, ruined obelisks that jut into the sky. To the west of this ensemble is an
ancestral temple in remarkably well-preserved condition. To the east of the tomb
is a ruined stele pavilion housing an epitaph in stone of Gia Long's reign,
composed by his son Minh Mang (who would later rule as Emperor).
Scattered in the surrounding landscape are smaller tombs and temples dedicated
to others in Gia Long's life, such as his second wife..
Compiled by Pha Le