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Historic schools of Saigon

Photo of Entry:  Historic schools of Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly named Saigon, has several historic schools, most founded in the second half of the 19th century during French imperial rule


Located at the crossroads of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Nam Ky Khoi Nghia streets, Le Quy Don High School faces the left side of Reunification Palace, previously known as Independence Palace, a few hundred meters from Tao Dan Park.

Established before the former Saigon and Gia Dinh Province were merged to become simply Saigon, Le Quy Don boasts more than 130 years of history as the city’s first high school.

The school was built under a decision, November 14, 1874 by Jules Krantz, a French navy admiral who was then Acting Governor of what France called Cochinchina (southern Vietnam).

It was originally called the Collège Chasseloup-Laubat, after a French Minister of the Marine and Colonies who Krantz succeeded.

The school was originally segregated into a “European Quarter” (Quartier Europeen), cottages with terracotta tiled roofs, and an “Indigenous Quarter” (Quartier Indigène), rows of flats for local elementary and secondary students enrolled in the school's French-language programs.

It later took on the name of renowned French writer Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) in 1958, then the Vietnamese scholar Le Quy Don (1726-1784) in 1966.

Its list of graduates includes several of Vietnam's leading figures, cultural activists, doctors, engineers and intellectuals, including the likes of Tran Van Giau, Vuong Hong Sen, Tran Dai Nghia, and Nguyen Van Huong.

Among other historical HCMC schools is the Collège d'Adran, founded in 1864 by priests from the Paris Foreign Missions Society, named in honor of a famous missionary bishop of the 18th century called Mgr Pigneau de Bohaine, bishop of Adran, and situated near the present-day Don Dat Street and Children's Hospital II, District 1.

Later, other prominent schools emerged, like the Lasan Tabert (now Tran Dai Nghia School) and the Collège des Interpretes, Vietnam's interpreters' college.

Later renamed the Collège des Stagieres, then Ecole Normale des Instituteurs, d'Adran was eventually split into Vo Truong Toan School and Trung Vuong School for Female Students.

Though several lesser schools preceded it, Le Quy Don remains the most historically enticing thanks to its imperial origins in the former Saigon-Gia Dinh and the preservation of both its architecture and reputation.

Source ThanhnienNews

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