Minh Mang’s grave is located in Huong Tho commune, Huong Tra district, on the west bank of the Perfume River, about 12 km south of the center of Hué city. It is one of the five imperial tombs we have already told you about.
Now that we have it located we will tell you that the tomb we will talk about today is famous for its architecture and also for its beautiful forest environment that makes your visit more pleasant than cultural. Around 18 hectares of land walking among gardens and statues or crossing a big bridge over a lake full of lotus flowers that make anyone’s eyes happy.
Minh Mang’s grave
A little bit of history
Minh Mang (1791 -1841), born Nguyễn Phúc Đảm, was the second emperor of the Nguyễn dynasty of Vietnam. He was the fourth son of Emperor Gia Long, whose eldest son, Nguyễn Phúc Cảnh, had died in 1801. He was well known for his opposition to the French regime in Vietnam and his rigid Confucian orthodoxy.
Minh Mang’s grave
Minh Mang’s tomb was designed by King Minh Mang himself, but it was his son Thieu Tri who, after his death, continued the task according to his father’s plan. The work was completed in 1843.
Located in a very nice enclave
After the king’s death, a group of guards was entrusted with the task of guarding his body and looking after the gardens. Unfortunately for the deceased, this maintenance program disappeared after the country was divided and the monarchy was abolished. In addition, the city of Hue was severely damaged during the Tet offensive of the Vietnam War in 1968. In the 1990s, only 20 of the 40 structures remained standing, and those that survived needed significant repair.
Structure of Minh Mang’s tomb
The Minh Mang tomb complex comprises 40 structures including the emperor’s dressing room, wailing pavilions and the tomb itself. The bright colours, elaborate ornamentation and lacquer finishes of the buildings contribute to the elegance and beauty of the site. As in almost all the royal tombs in the area, a wall surrounds the site.
Are you coming to discover the compound?
It is designed as a symmetrical axis, known as the Than Dao trail, which is basically a path where we will stumble upon all the monuments. It extends from the Great Red Gate to the foot of the wall behind the King’s tomb. In addition to this gate in the center, there are two other gates: the left Rad Gate and the right Red Gate, which lead to the Courtyard of Honor, where there are two rows of statues made of elephant stone, mandarins and horses.
On the other side of the 3 gates, on Mount Phung Than is the Pavilion of the Stelae, where the stele “Thanh Duc Than Cong” inscribed with the biography of the King was written by his son.
The Sung An Temple, where King Minh Mang and his wife are worshipped, can be accessed through the Hien Duc Gate. There are 3 stone bridges on the other side of the temple, the marble one was reserved only for the king.
Hien Duc Door
Finally, the Hoang Trach gate heads for the Minh Lau Pavilion. It is placed at the top of three terraces representing the sky, the earth and the water. Closer to the tomb area is the New Moon Lake (Ho Tan Nguyet) which is shaped like a half moon and encompasses the circular wall surrounding the tomb (Buu Thanh).
Minh Lau pavilionDai Hong Mon GateFiguresAncient stone gateVisiting the premisesImperial Tomb
Looking from afar, the complex looks like a man with the hill as a pillow and his hands and feet reaching out to the river. From the front door to the back door it’s almost 700 meters. The fence is high but does not block the view of the nearby mountains.
From a stone bridge over Tan Nguyet Lake in the shape of a crescent (New Moon Lake), a monumental staircase with dragon rails leads to the tomb of Minh Mang. The door to the tomb is opened only once a year on the anniversary of the emperor’s death.
The best thing is the environmentGreen, very green
Car or motorbike to go. If you go by boat you will have to walk a few minutes. 8 am / 6 pm Price: 100.000 VNDPut it on the list of things to see in Hue