About the creator
Xuan Hoa Nguyen
Ho Quyen Arena (built 1830)
Ho Quyen is an arena where tigers and elephants fought to the death, gladiator style, for the benefit of the royal family and other high-ranking spectators. It was constructed in 1830 along the south bank of the Perfume river, about 200 yards from Long Chau temple where royal war elephants were worshipped and buried.
In traditional Vietnamese culture, tigers were feared beasts that preyed upon helpless villagers and their livestock. In contrast, elephants were noble animals who represented the prestige and virility of the royal family. The fights held here between the two species were carefully rigged so that the elephants held the upper hand in every fight. The tigers were routinely declawed and tethered, with their teeth filed down to further put them at a disadvantage. Although the tigers could put on a show by jumping and charging at the elephants, the elephants would generally (if not always) win in the end by trampling the tigers to death.
Fights were usually staged once a year, and the last was held in 1904, though royal elephants continued to be reared in the area until the August Revolution of 1945. Unfortunately, the site is not well preserved, and is rapidly approaching ruin unless conservation measures are taken soon.
Khai Dinh Tomb
Khai Dinh tomb belongs to Thuy Bang, Huong Thuy, Thua Thien-Hue and it is far about 10 kilometers from Hue city. Khai Dinh tomb has an area smaller than others one but it is more sparkling and sophisticated between western and oriental architecture.
Khai Dinh King chose Chau Ngu Mountain to built tomb which is far about 10 kilometers from Hue. The tomb was established on September 4th 1920 and lasted to 11 years after. The tomb has a combination between modern and traditional architecture. In comparison with those of the preceding emperors, Khai Dinh’ s tomb is much smaller in surface (117m x 48.5m) but it is very elaborate.
Overall tomb is rectangle block with 127 steps stair and divided into:
Coming to tomb must past the system of 37 steps stair, adding more 29 steps stair, tourists will come to a yard, in the middle has stone stele house. All statues were made from stone in Khai Dinh tomb, two pillars are very hight. Go up three more levels so as to reach the altar monument. The walls are decorated and inlaid with elaborate glass and porcelain designs. Beyond these modern building materials and designs, the tombs had elements of eastern art mixed with western designs. The most noticeable characteristic of the tomb is the glassy; it is really a masterpiece of Vietnamese early in the 20th century.
Khai Dinh tomb is really a valuable structure and architecture. It makes diversity for complex of tombs in Hue.
Tu Duc Tomb
TU DUC TOMB
Tu Duc's tomb is located in a narrow valley in Duong Xuan Thuong village (currently Thuong Ba village, Thuy Xuan Commune, Hue City). It is one of the most beautiful works of royal architecture of the Nguyen dynasty. The tomb lies in a boundless pine forest, 8 km from Hue.
Tu Duc Tomb
Its construction started in December 1864 and finished in 1867.
Inside the surrounding wall about 12 hectares wide,nearly 50 constructions were built on terraces of various levels (about 10m difference). All constructions include the word Khiem (Modesty) in their names.
The tomb is divided into two main parts:
The temple area:
Entering Vu Khiem entrance, there is Luu Khiem lake. On the lake are Xung Khiem Pavilion and Du Khiem Pavilion where the Emperor used to come to admire flowers, compose poems, read books, etc.
Then, three Thanh stone steps to Khiem Cung gate lead to Hoa Khiem Palace, which used to be the Emperor's working place, and is now the altar devoted to the Emperor and the Queen. On both sides are Phap Khiem House and Le Khiem House for the military and civil mandarins.
Tu Duc Tomb
Behind Hoa Khiem Palace is Luong Khiem Palace, which was also the Emperor's resting place, and was later used to worship Mrs. Tu Du (Tu Duc's Mother). On the right of Luong Khiem Palace stand On Khiem Palace, where the royal utensils are kept. On the left of Luong Khiem Palace is Minh Khiem theatre. Then, comes Chi Khiem, the altar to worship the Emperor's wives, Tri Khiem Palace and Y Khiem Palace were the accommodations of the Emperor's concubines.
On the left of the temple is the necropolis itself slopping upward with the Honour Courtyard, the Stele Pavilion, and the seplucre. Rightbehind Bai Dinh (Honour Courtyard), with two rows of magnificent military and civil mandarins, is Bi Dinh (Stele Pavilion) with the biggest stone stele in Vietnam. It is inscribed with Khiem Cung narrative, composed by the Emperor himself, writing about his life and imperial cause as well as his misadventures and diseases, etc. On the hill, opposite the semi-circular Tieu Khiem Tri lake, is the Buu Thanh brick wall, in the middle is a stone house, where the Emperor was buried.
Tu Duc’s tomb is not only one of the most beautiful works of the Nguyen dynasty, but it is also a romantic scenery of mounts and lakes.
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