Bình An Đường - Hospital for eunuchs and palace maids
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Bình An Đường is a historical site located northwest of Hue Imperial City, about 5 km from the city center. It is a special rest and treatment center for eunuchs and palace maids (during the Nguyễn dynasty).
Address: 1 Dang Thai Than, Thuan Thanh, Hue City
Status: Closed

In the history of the Nguyễn dynasty, Bình An Đường is only a modest architectural monument, compared to the magnificent and grandiose palaces and mausoleums. However, it still has a certain value for researchers of traditional medicine in the Nguyễn dynasty. The uniqueness of Bình An Đường is that it is a special "palace hospital" for eunuchs, concubines, and beauties of the Nguyễn dynasty.

Bình An Đường is an important historical site in Hue. It has recorded the contributions of eunuchs and palace maids in serving the court. In addition, Bình An Đường is also a popular tourist destination, attracting many domestic and foreign tourists to visit.


Based on the "Lịch triều hiến chương loại chí" (Historical Record of the Nguyễn Dynasty), people now know that Bình An Đường was built in 1823, by the order of Emperor Minh Mạng. This emperor had a large number of wives and children, and therefore needed a large number of eunuchs and palace maids to serve their daily needs. To treat the thousands of people who fell ill, Minh Mạng built a special rest and treatment center, placed under the supervision of the Thái Y Viện (Imperial Medical Bureau).

To facilitate the treatment and care of the palace servants, Bình An Đường was built next to the back gate of the Hue Imperial City (now Đặng Thái Thân Street, Huế City). Bình An Đường was divided into two parts: a treatment center for diagnosis, prescription, and acupuncture, and a rest home for elderly and infirm patients who could not walk. To the north of Bình An Đường was a separate building called the Cung Giám Viện, where eunuchs lived and waited for treatment (according to custom, eunuchs (castrated men) were separated from women).

Due to its function, the grounds of Bình An Đường were only planted with flowers and medicinal plants to be used for treatment. The doctors who worked at Bình An Đường were assigned by the Thái Y Viện. Most of them were talented and virtuous doctors. All medicines used for treatment were taken from the imperial medicine storehouse, and patients did not have to pay.


The name Bình An Đường - or Bình An Gia (literally meaning "peaceful home") - has a beautiful and poetic meaning. This was the hospital for the servants of the royal court, who were provided with medicine and medical care under the direction of the Thái Y Viện (Imperial Medical Bureau). However, if we only tell about that, it is too simple for a building that can be called the "Cát An Sở of the Nguyễn dynasty". So what is Cát An Sở? And why can it be compared to Bình An Đường? To understand this, we can consider the regulations from the Qing court of China.

Binh an duong

In the Qing court, only the people who were considered the masters of the Forbidden City, such as the emperor, empress, or direct sons and daughters, were allowed to die in the palace itself. In addition, all the princes, princesses, and concubines had to be taken to Cát An Sở (a place outside the Forbidden City).

People in the palace who died were wrapped in blankets from the palace and placed in Cát An Sở. The funeral for the concubines was held by the Nội vụ phủ (Inner Court). In the case of some concubines who were still dying or seriously ill, they would be treated here. If the person did not survive, this would be the place where their funeral would be held. Although there were still exceptions if the emperor granted special permission, this regulation also made it clear to everyone about the harsh regulations of the royal family.

Back to Bình An Đường, it has actually been recorded as such. According to the Thừa Thiên Huế Province Research and Development Journal, Bình An Đường was not only a place for treatment, but it was also where concubines who died young were treated and died. Also according to this journal, in the journal of the Đô thành hiếu cổ (Ho Chi Minh City Antiquities Association), Mr. L. Cadière wrote about Bình An Đường, which can be translated as follows: "Bình An Gia hospital, in this house, the women of the palace had to be hospitalized when they were sick, and this is also where they died... located in the former Bảo Đức ward, now Trung Hậu ward.


The roof system is low, covered with ordinary clay tiles. The beams, pillars, large doors, and windows are all made of wood, now blackened with age. The bases and feet of the pillars are buried in solid Thanh stone. Inside, the house is cool and airy thanks to the many doors. The square windows all have wooden grilles, and the doors are made of thin, shaved wood slats that are arranged diagonally for ventilation (in Huế, these are called "lá sách" doors). The large doors facing the Imperial City are made of "bàn khoa" panels, which can be easily dismantled and are very airy. In addition, the walls are very thick, making the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

binh an duong

The grounds of Bình An Đường are surrounded by lakes and mountains, creating a picturesque natural scenery.

Within Bình An Đường, there are some typical architectural works such as:

- The main house: This is where eunuchs and palace maids stay when they come to rest.
- The pharmacy: This is where eunuchs and palace maids are treated.
- The medicinal garden: This is where medicinal herbs are grown to support the treatment.
- The flower garden: This is where flowers are grown to decorate Bình An Đường.

Experience Guide:

From the quiet, tree-lined one-way street Đoàn Thị Điểm, turn onto Đặng Thái Thân and you will see Bình An Đường, which has been restored to its original state. From the outside, Bình An Đường looks like a small Huế garden with two main houses built in a modern style, partly influenced by French architecture but still faithful to the traditional "phương đình" architecture. When you come here, tourists may feel sad when they hear about the harshness of the royal court in the old days.

Photo by Journeys in Hue