Minh Mang Tomb


The Majestic And Pituresque Tomb Of Minh Mang

Photo of Entry:  The Majestic And Pituresque Tomb Of Minh Mang

In February 1820, after the death of Emperor Gia Long, his fourth son, the crown prince Nguyen Phuc Dam (Nguyễn Phúc Đảm) went up on the throne and took the title MInh Mang (Minh Mạng). Very intelligent by nature and having deep knowledge on the Confucianism, the new emperor was interested a lot in the field of studies, it founded the Imperial school Quoc Tu Giam (Quốc Tử Giám) and reorganized the contests Hội and Đình. In 1840, he renamed Cẩm Kê mount (An Bằng, Hương Trà district) in Hieu Son  (Hiếu Sơn) (mount of the Filial devotion), where the construction of his future tomb was started; he named it  Hieu Lang (Hiếu Lăng) (Tomb of the Filial devotion). In January 1841, while the work was still in building site, the emperor was unfortunately carried by the disease. His successor, emperor Thiệu Trị continued the construction following the same plan accurately. In August 1841, the skin of Minh Mang was buried in Buu Thanh (Bửu Thành). The construction of the tomb was entirely completed only in 1843.

 The main entrance Đai Hồng Môn
 The main entrance Dai Hong Mon 

The tomb of emperor Minh Mang is an architectural unit comprising several monuments laid out symmetrically. Its aspect makes think about a human silhouette who rests in an easy position: the head support against (Kim Phụng) mount, the legs spread themselves towards the confluence of the 2 opposite rivers and two semi-lakes Trung MInh (Trừng Minh), they can be compared with the two arms which are released.

 bai dinh court

Bai Dinh Court

To reach the inside the tomb, tourists will pass by  Dai Hong Mon (Đại Hồng Môn) (Large Red Door), 9 m high and 12m broad, built of lime bricks and including three entries. The main entrance was open only once to accommodate the coffin of emperor before being closed again for ever. Since then, the accesses and exits are by two side entries  Ta Hong Mon (Tả Hồng Môn) (on the left) and Hữu Hồng Môn (on the right). In Bái Đình Court which is paved of Bát Tràng bricks and to which Đại Hồng Môn gives access, they find two lines of stone statues representing the civil and military mandarins, and elephants and horses on standby of the imperial audience. Bi Đình (temple of the Stele), located at the bottom of the court, shelters the stone stele "Thanh Duc Than Cong" (thánh đức thần công) on which registered the epitaph of emperor Thieu Tri (Thiệu Trị) who raises the life and important facts of his father.

 Sùng Ân temple
 Sung An Temple

At the other side, it is the large court intended for the imperial ceremonies. The necropolis starts with Hien Duc Mon (Hiển Đức Môn) (Door of Rayon Virtue) and delimited in a square enclosure symbolizing the Earth. After having crossed the Door, visitors will see in the center of Venerated Benefits Temple (Điện Sùng Ân), the additional temples left and right (Tả Hữu Phối Điện) in the former part, the posterior part is reserved for the additional rooms left and right-hand side (Tả Hữu Tùng Phòng).

In the Temple, the worship shelves are dedicated to the venerated emperor and to empress Ta Thien Nhan (Tá Thiên Nhân). Hoang Trach (Hoằng Trạch) Door closes the necropolis while opening on a greenery space, flowers, clouds and floods.

 Inside of Sung An temple
 Inside of Sung An temple

All the realistic monuments seem to stop at the bottom of the necropolis and from where a new world full with leisure starts again: the three bridges spanning the lake Trung Minh (Trừng Minh) (Pure Clearness) called respectively Ta Phu (Tả Phù) (on the left), Trung Đạo (in the medium) and Hữu Bật (on the right), splendid like blue tissue bands, end in the Minh Lau (Minh Lâu) House (of the Light), place where the Emperor spends time meditating in the full moon nights. This house on a floor and of square form is covered with an octagonal roof. On the two sides, they see the two large columns majestically drawn up on Binh Son (Bình Sơn) mount (of Peace) and Thanh Son (Thành Sơn) mount (of Completion), which refers to the "important facts completed by the emperor" before his departure for eternity.

 Huyền Cung
 Huyen Cung

From the 333 steps bridge called Thong Minh Chinh Truc(Thông Minh Chính Trực) (Intelligence and Uprightness) which crosses the lake Tan Nguyet (Tân Nguyệt) (New moon), visitors will reach the place where the emperor rests; it is about the top of Khai Thach Son (Khải Thạch Sơn) hill which is surrounded by Buu Thanh. This circular contain enclosure in a symbolic way the system and in other concentric circles drawn by Tan Nguyet (Tân Nguyệt )lake,La Thanh (La Thành) walls, the mountainous chains and the horizon; no doubt this configuration wants to express the burning ambition of the late emperor to embrace all the Earth, and even to control the entire universe. Along the main axis of the tomb, several additional buildings are symmetrically laid in pair.

Apart from the architectural monuments with great artistic and aesthetic values, nearly 600 sculpture pictures of Chinese penmanship preserved in good state on the door of the radiant Virtue, in the stele temple (Bi Đình), the venerated benefits and the light house are the true masterpieces. They constitute an original anthology of the Vietnamese poetry at the beginning of the 19th century, and it is by there that our ancestors express their knowledge, their wisdom and also their feelings. A visit in the tomb of Minh Mạng will give to visitors the impression to be mislaid in a poetry, painting and philosophy universe. The majesty, the serenity of the architectural environment and the tempting beauty of the natural landscape release the rigor, the scholarship and the poet heart of the emperor.

Source: simplevietnam.com

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