An Dinh Palace
View font:
Khai Tuong Pavilion is like a European castle
An Dinh Palace is a unique architectural work of the Nguyen Dynasty built in the early twentieth century, located on the bank of An Cuu River, formerly in De Bat Ward - Hue Town, now at 97 Phan Dinh Phung Street, Phu Nhuan Ward, Hue City.
Khai Tuong Pavilion is like a European castle
Address: 179 Phan Dinh Phung, Phu Nhuan, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Opening Time: Daily, 7 AM – 5 PM
Status: Active

An Dinh Palace is about 2km from the city center, on the bank of An Cuu River, formerly in De Bat Ward - Hue Town, now at 97 Phan Dinh Phung Street, Phu Nhuan Ward, Hue City. Being constructed in an area of over 23.460m2, An Dinh Palace is one of the constructions in the palace system of the Nguyen dynasty. Emperor Khai Dinh (1916-1925) had the palace constructed based on a small residence where he used to stay. The Emperor had passed away before An Dinh palace was completed. Then, An Dinh Palace became the place where royal families received foreign delegations. Madam Tu Cung stayed in the palace from 1945-1950-1968-1975. At the palace, the traditional architecture of the Nguyen dynasty still remains. Gothic architecture is also clearly shown through decoration styles and items such as pillars, archways, etc.



Initially, this building was built by Dong Khanh emperor and named Phung Hoa Palace with the will as a gift for his eldest son, Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Dao (Khai Dinh emperor).

In the year 14th of Thanh Thai (1902), Phung Hoa Cong Nguyen Phuc Buu Dao (i.e., Khai Dinh emperor) established a residence named An Dinh Residence.

In the 2nc year of Khai Dinh (1917), the emperor used his own money to renovate the palace in the style of modern architecture.

In early 1919, the construction was completed, the palace still retains its name.

From February 28, 1922, An Dinh Palace became the palace of Vinh Thuy Crown Prince (Bao Dai Emperor later).

After the Revolution in August 1945, the family of the former emperor Bao Dai moved from the Imperial Palace to live in An Dinh Palace.

After 1975, Mrs. Tu Cung dedicated An Dinh to the revolutionary government. An Dinh Palace was used as a dormitory for the family of Hue University professors, then used as a public cultural place, where food services were sold, etc. Over time, the palace was seriously degraded.

Since 2001, An Dinh Palace has been restored and reconstructed.

Since 2002, An Dinh Palace has been transferred to Hue Monument Conservation Center to manage, continue to renovate, reconstruct and put into operation for tourism until now.

cung an dinh hue


An Dinh Palace faces south, towards the An Cuu River. The palace has a flat terrain, a total area of 23.463m2, surrounded by a brick wall, 0,5m thick, 1,8m high with a fence. When the palace is still intact, there are about 10 structures. From front to back are: Marina, Main Gate, Trung Lap Bower, Khai Tuong Pavillion, Cuu Tu Dai Theater, Animal Cages, Lake... Through the passage of time and the devastation of the war, up to now, only 3 fairly intact structures remain the Main Gate, Trung Lap Bower, and Khai Tuong Pavilion. The main gate is made in the design of three-arched gate, two-storey, decorated with very elaborate embossed porcelain. Trung Lap Bower, located inside the door, has an octagonal structure with a high base. Inside, there is a bronze statue of King Khai Dinh, in real-life proportions, cast in 1920.

Nét độc đáo của kiến trúc Cung An Định ở Cố đô Huế

Khai Tuong Pavilion is the main structure of An Dinh Palace. The word Khai Tuong (meaning where the good omens start), the name of the Pavillion, is set by Emperor Khai Dinh. The 3-storey floor, built with new materials in the style of a European castle, occupies an area of up to 745m2. The floor is very ornately decorated, especially the interior of the First floor with murals of high artistic value.
Prominent in this hall are 6 decorative paintings on the wall panels, with wooden frames bordered, carved apricot flowers, and very beautiful stylized lotus leaves. These six paintings are not named, but when looking at the drawing, viewers can easily identify that it is the real perspective of 5 mausoleums: Gia Long, Minh Mang, Thieu Tri, Tu Duc, Dong Khanh; Particularly the 6th picture (from the inside out) is not clear of which works. It is suggested that this can be Khai Dinh mausoleum when in the form of sketches on the drawing, and the painting is not the same as Khai Dinh mausoleum today because, after the trip to France (1920), Khai Dinh emperor changed the design of the mausoleum in the Western style, so it is no longer the same as the painted picture. All six paintings do not have the artist's signature, so the identification of the authors of the six paintings still has many different opinions. In 2003, when restoring these six paintings, researchers discovered in the corner of one of the six paintings signed Nguyen Van Ngoan (or Ngoãn).

Compared to other architectures of the same period, An Dinh Palace is a superficial project that was started and completed at the earliest. At the beginning of the period when Hue art history was exposed and influenced by the West, An Dinh Palace also created its characteristics when harmoniously combining traditional decorative themes such as four spirits, four quarters, eight decorations, stylized patterns with Roman style column decorations, or angels... in European style. All the large and small structures in An Dinh Palace have a close relationship with each other in a meaningful harmonious way to create a private, quiet, but friendly architectural picture in the heart of Hue city.

In 2001, An Dinh Palace was restored and became one of the venues for the Hue Festival 2002. In 2003, the German Embassy donated 17.000 euros to restore six rare murals in the interior of the Khai Tuong Pavillion. By means of modern techniques, German relic restoration experts have studied, analyzed, and restored the paintings... Thanks to that, the luxurious and splendid interior of Khai Tuong Pavillion, as it used to be in the early twentieth century, gradually appeared. On the occasion of Hue Festival, An Dinh Palace is always one of the important places where art performances and exhibitions of antiques take place. Attracting a large number of tourists to visit Hue, contributes significantly to the success of Hue Festivals. Along with other architectural works in Khai Dinh period, such as Khai Dinh Mausoleum, Kien Trung Pallivion, Hien Nhon Gate... An Dinh Palace is considered a typical representative of Vietnamese architectural style in the Neo - Classique period.

Không có mô tả ảnh.

Artistic Value:

What mausoleum is the 6th picture in An Dinh Palace?

The set has six paintings depicting the landscape of the mausoleums of the Nguyen kings, arranged in opposite directions. Looking out from the inside, the first picture on the left shows the landscape of Gia Long's mausoleum, opposite is the picture of King Minh Mang's mausoleum. Next to the left is the painting of King Thieu Tri's mausoleum, opposite is the painting of King Tu Duc's mausoleum. The other two paintings are located on the front wall right at the entrance to the hall, the left picture depicts the tomb of King Dong Khanh, but the picture on the right is the sixth picture. It is not clear which king's tomb landscape is depicted. In the article, The mystery of An Dinh palace mural by author Ngo Minh, Dr. Tran Duc Anh Son - former director of Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities - surmises that maybe that painting depicts Khai Dinh Tomb in the original sketch form. Architect Phung Phu - former director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Center - said that the sixth painting could be a certain palace of special importance to the court and the king himself.

Then, on December 20, 2003, researcher Nguyen Dac Xuan in the article Uncovering the Mystery of the Mural No. 6 in An Dinh Palace rejected the two assumptions mentioned above and said that the sixth painting depicts the facade of the area. Palace of King Dong Khanh's mausoleum. A long time later, researcher Ha Vu Trong in the article Some things shed light on six murals in An Dinh Palace, posted on his personal page on May 24, 2020, claimed that the sixth painting depicts the landscape "the graveyard of the An Dinh palace." King Dong Khanh". However, the actual comparison is still not appropriate.

That's the Scenery of King Kien Phuc's Tomb

While searching for documents about Di Khiem Lau, a structure belonging to Khiem Lang of King Tu Duc that had collapsed, a young man Nguyen Tan Anh Phong happened to take a photo of Boi Lang (ie, King Kien Phuc's mausoleum) with his wife. The angle of the shot closely matches the sixth picture in An Dinh Palace. Boi Lang is also located on Khiem Lang campus, next to Di Khiem Lau. Mr. Phong continued to study documentary photos of Di Khiem Lau and Chiem Khiem Dien (the temple worshiping King Kien Phuc) and discovered that these were the two houses in the sixth picture.

Dr. Tran Duc Anh Son is also the person to whom Anh Phong sent documents for appraisal. "After looking at the documentary images with the works of Chiem Khiem Dien, Di Khiem Lau, comparing with the new image, I found Phong's opinion to be valid. The sixth picture in An Dinh Palace is indeed a style painting. the scene of King Kien Phuc's mausoleum," said Mr. Son.

“Painting follows the realistic style of the East and is educated according to the method of the West, but has not yet reached the standard ratio according to the law of farsightedness. Therefore, the light and dark patches are not standard, the railings that should be drawn in a bend are drawn straight, causing a different feeling from reality. However, comparing the reality of Kien Phuc's mausoleum, this position is similar to the picture." - Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Thanh Binh, former rector of Hue University of Arts shared. In February 2022, Phong transferred the pictures to Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities, the management unit of An Dinh Palace, with the suggestion: please verify and if correct, please correct the caption below the picture. sixth picture in An Dinh palace for accuracy. Ms. Phan Thi Thuy Van, former deputy director of the museum, received the information and documents. At the beginning of May 2023, we returned to An Dinh Palace and saw that the caption below the sixth picture had been replaced with "Tomb of Emperor Kien Phuc."

So after more than 100 years of existence, the mystery of the sixth painting in An Dinh Palace has been discovered. The interesting thing is that the person who lifted the veil of mystery was a young man doing business. Because of his passion for heritage and the restoration of ancient photos, Nguyen Tan Anh Phong has found the answer to the question that has challenged art and culture researchers for decades.

Không có mô tả ảnh.