Tomb of Minh Mang
Location: Tomb of Minh Mang is located 12km
form Hue, on Cam Ke mount, near Bang Lang fork, on the west bank of the Perfume
Characteristic: Minh Mang's tomb is a standard architectural complex consisting of 40 constructions (palaces, temples, pavilions, etc.) designed on an symmetric axis running from Dai Hong gate to the foot of La Thanh (Surrounding Wall) behind the Emperor's tomb.
In September 1840, the construction of the tomb began. In January 1841, while the work was implemented, Minh Mang was sick and passed away. Emperor Thieu Tri, his successor to the throne, continues this task according to his father’s plans. Emperor Minh Mang's corpse was buried in Buu Thanh on August 20th, 1841. The construction was fully completed in 1843.
The constructions are distributed into three main parallel axis of which Than Dao path is the centre.
Dai Hong Mon: It is the main gate to enter the tomb. The gate presents three paths with 24 heaving roofs covered with beautiful decorations. The gate was opened only once to bring the Emperor's coffin to the tomb, and had been tightly closed since then. Visitors have to use the two side-gates Ta Hong Mon (Left Gate) and Huu Hong Mon (Right Gate).
Bi Dinh: Behind Dai Hong Mon (big gate) is the Honour Courtyard with its two rows of mandarins, elephants and horses’ statues. Bi Dinh (Stele Pavilion) is on Mount Phung Than. Inside is the stele "Thanh Duc Than Cong", inscribed with the Emperor's biography and merits written by his son Thieu Tri.
The temple area:
The Salutation Court is divided into four steps - The Hien Duc Mon (gate) leads to the worship place. In the centre is Sung An Temple surrounded by Ta, Huu Phoi Dien (Left, Right Temples) in the front and Ta, Huu Tung Phong (Left, Right Rooms) in the back. The Emperor and Queen Ta Thien Nhan are worshipped in Sung An Temple. Then, Hoang Trach Mon (gate) leads to the Bright Pavilion (Minh Lau), built on Tam Tai Mount. It is a square pavilion with two storeys and eight roofs. On both sides of Minh Lau, two obelisks stand on the hills. In the back of Minh Lau are two flower gardens designed as the character "Longevity".
The tomb (Buu Thanh):
Tan Nguyet (New Moon) crescent Lake embraces the circular Buu Thanh (The wall surrounding the grave). There are three bridges on Tan Nguyet Lake. Visitors have to climb 33 Thanh stone steps to reach the sepulcher of the Emperor. Besides nearly 60 word boxes of carved poems in the Stele Pavilion, Hien Duc gate, Sung An Temple, and Minh Pavilion are also remarkable and constitute an anthology of chosen poems of Vietnam’s early 19th century.
Visiting Minh Mang’s tomb, one is impressed by the majesty and symmetry of the architectural constructions.
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