Khai Dinh Tomb of Hue Citadel

Khai Dinh tomb (Ứng tomb of Khai Dinh) is the pinnacle of porcelain and glassware decoration. It has great values in art and architecture.

The Khai Dinh tomb is located in the Thuy Bang commune of Hue city, Thua Thien Hue province. Khai Dinh is the twelfth emperor of the Nguyen dynasty, having been crowned in 1916. He was also the final Nguyen dynasty ruler to construct a "home in another world." The Khai Dinh mausoleum was built atop the Chau Chu summit (also known as Chau E), around 10 kilometers from Hue city. The construction of the Khai Dinh tomb began on September 4, 1920, and took 11 years to finish.


Some of the building materials came from France (iron, steel, cement, and Ardoise tile), while others came from Japan (porcelain and glassware). The Khai Dinh tomb is smaller than other Hue tombs, yet it is more complicated and time-consuming. It is a mix of traditional and modern architecture from the East and West.

The Khai Dinh tomb is generally a rectangular building with up to 127 steps. They not only serve as Feng-shui elements, the mountains and streams around Khai Dinh's grave, but they also create spectacular natural landscapes.


The primary building of Khai Dinh tomb is Thien Dinh palace, which is located at the highest point. It is divided into five sections: lateral apartments for bodyguards, the front palace known as Khai Thanh, which is dedicated to the altar and portrait of Emperor Khai Dinh, and the middle space, which houses the emperor's statue and grave. Behind the altar lies the late emperor's altar.

The artist Phan Van Tach, who created the drawing "Cuu long a van" (nine dragons amidst fleeing clouds) on the ceiling of Thien Dinh palace, is in charge of making art masterpieces at Khai Dinh tomb.


Above all, the Thien Dinh palace's interior design is regarded as a work of art. Porcelain and colorful glassware adorn the three central compartments of the Thien Dinh palace. The bronze statue, in particular, has lovely smooth curves on the one-ton. The late Emperor commissioned a bronze statue of Khai Dinh to be built in France in 1922.

The use of porcelain and glassware in the ornamentation of the Khai Dinh tomb is unparalleled. It has high artistic and architectural merit.

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