The tomb of Dong Khanh, of the five imperial tombs we told you about earlier, is in the village of Cu Si, about 5 or 6 km from Hué.
This tomb was the beginning of the mixture of European and Asian styles, of old and new architectures. It is divided into two parts, the temple of worship and the tomb, and is the smallest of the Nguyen dynasty. The tomb enclosure consists of 20 buildings and the ceremonial courtyard is decorated with terracotta and cement statues.
Dong Khanh’s Tomb
A little bit of history
After barely three years of reigning, Dong Khanh died at the early age of 25 and without having had time to plan what his mausoleum would look like, as it used to do at the time. That is why the Truy Tu Temple (built in his father’s honour) was renamed and used as an imperial tomb.
Dong Khanh TombWalking around the premisesDong Khanh Tomb
Structure of the Dong Khanh tomb
The complex of Dong Khanh’s tomb, so complicated to create and the long duration of its construction, are reflected in the structure of the tomb resulting in an architectural mixture that is at least curious, being the smallest of the royal tombs.
One of the strengths of the complex is Ngung Hy Temple, a twin mansion typical of the city of Hue. The temple is equipped with typical royal furniture of the time and calligraphic elements.
In addition to the traditional aspects, Ngung Hy also opened up a new era of the arts inspired by Western and Eastern features. He has 24 drawings illustrating Chinese history called “Nhi thap tu hieu”.
FiguresDetail of one of the figures
On the contrary, the design of the tomb area oozes from the west, from its architectural peculiarities or decorative models to the building materials. The Pavilion of Stela was built with cement and bricks instead of stone.
Discovering the tomb
In the main temple and the auxiliary houses are the magnificent rows of gold lacquered columns, decorated with representations of the four sacred animals (dragon, lion, turtle, phoenix), as well as the four sacred plants (apricot, pine, chrysanthemum and bamboo).
One of the buildingsAnother of the constructions
On the crest of the roofs we can see terracotta reliefs of very popular themes such as the “lucky sinner” or the “cock fight”. The appearance of the stained glass windows and other decorative elements reflects the influence of Western culture.
We have already said that it is the smallest tomb, but as you can see in the pictures, it is also a quiet place, so we recommend its visit anyway if you are doing a route to see the imperial tombs.
Ticket price: 40,000 VND
Some areas are closed to the public due to conservation work
Tu Duc’s grave is very close so the means of transport are the same. The best thing is a motorcycle or a car, or the boat will drop us off at Ben Tahn’s pier.