Tomb of Hiep Hoa
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Not as magnificent, as superficial as other Nguyen dynasty tombs, King Hiep Hoa's tomb is simple, small, and nestled in the middle of a pine forest canopy in An Tay ward, Hue City.
Address: Tam Thai Mountain, An Tay Ward, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Status: Has been restored. In 2016, it was recognized as a provincial historical relic.

7km southwest of Hue Citadel, King Hiep Hoa Mausoleum is located in the Tam Thai mountain pine hill area in An Tay ward, Hue city.

Unlike the majestic and massive tombs of the Nguyen kings, King Hiep Hoa's tomb only has an area of about 200m2. This is the resting place of the 6th king of the Nguyen Dynasty with a tragic life: forced to the throne, forced to abdicate and finally forced to drink poison to die.



According to the old history, Hiep Hoa King's real name is Nguyen Phuc Hong Dat, the 29th and youngest son of Thieu Tri King, born on November 1, 1847. In 1865 Hong Dat was awarded the title of Van Lang Cong, and in 1879 he was awarded the title of Lang Quoc Cong. In June 1883, after Nguyen Van Tuong and Ton That Thuyet finished with Duc Duc king, at the will of Empress Dowager Queen Tu Du, the court sent a delegation to Kim Long to process Lang Quoc Cong to the Citadel to prepare for the coronation ceremony. Hong Dat cried and said: “I am the youngest son of the king, of mediocre character, unable to accept the throne”. The delegation both begged and used force to bring Lang Quoc Cong into the Forbidden City. Two days later, on July 30, 1883, Hong Dat ascended the throne, taking the title Hiep Hoa.

The book "Vietnam Su Luoc" recorded: In Hue, King Hiep Hoa also wanted to receive a protection policy to leave the throne alone, but many officials refused and found Nguyen Van Tuong and Ton That Thuyet to be too authoritative, planned to remove them, so he changed Nguyen Van Tuong to become the Binh Bo Thuong Thu, Ton That Thuyet to Lai Bo Thuong Thu, to reduce the military rights of Ton That Thuyet.

The two men saw that the king had doubts and was afraid if left alone might cause trouble, so they went to talk to Mrs. Tu Du Empress to ascend Mr. Dinh Thien as the third adopted son of King Duc Tong (King Tu Duc), then forced King Hiep Hoa to Mr. Duc place to drink poison to death. King Hiep Hoa has been king for more than 4 months, called Phe De (dethroned king).

It was October 30 in the year Quy Mui (November 29, 1883). Because it was a discarded king, Hiep Hoa king was not worshiped in the temple, only buried according to the ritual of Quoc Cong, so the tomb is very simple. Historically, Hiep Hoa king may have been less popular than other Nguyen kings, but that presence also marked a tumultuous past period of the country.


The tomb of King Hiep Hoa before being restored

Previously, Hiep Hoa king's tomb was just a small tomb located in the middle of a green pine forest. At the time of his death, Hiep Hoa king was only buried according to the ritual of Quoc Cong, so the tomb was built quite simply. The tomb of the King is only about 30m2, with a roof of tile, 2 steps up, in the middle is a small cement stele engraved with a few words of National Language: Hiep Hoa King, Nguyen Phuc Hong Dat - Born on September 24, the year of the Smell (November 1, 1847) - Died on October 30, the year of the Quy Mui (November 29, 1883).

The back of the stele has four verses in Chinese characters of Tu Duc king, which translates as: "My brother was fourteen - His eager to learn very few people have - Except for Kien Thuy Cong - Now there is only Van Lang".

Behind the stele is the entrance to the tomb with two sentences written in Chinese characters. The sentence on the right is that of King Hiep Hoa, who evaluates himself: "The noble prince has a mediocre quality of ten thousand incompetents", which translates as: "The beloved youngest son of the king has a mediocre quality that cannot take the throne".

The sentence on the left is from the Secret Institute: "All prays for earth and heaven to be taken care of as good as the gentle Van Lang Cong", translated as: "Cỏngatulate Van Lang Cong successfully completed the ceremony at the Xa Tac esplanade".

Behind the screen, there is a double-edged image of double dragons fighting with porcelain.

In 2013, Hiep Hoa King's tomb was greatly restored by a group of Hue people in Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang have mobilized donations through the Van Lang Quan Vuong Office to renovate and rebuild the more spacious mausoleum area as it is today.

Hiep Hoa king's mausoleum today is rebuilt spacious, ensuring the standard of a tomb area of the king

Hiep Hoa King's tomb area currently includes the main items such as Tomb, pavilion, pavilion yard, middle road, pillar, screen, visible dragon, and hidden dragon...  Although lacking a number of factors such as Minh Duong, Tien An, Hau Pham but in general, the mausoleum still carries the standard of a tomb of the Nguyen king more than 100 years ago.

In November 2016, Hiep Hoa King Mausoleum was recognized as a provincial historical and cultural relic.

Route Guide:

Hoa Hiep King's mausoleum is located on a pine hill in An Tay ward, about 10km from the center of Hue City, near the historic site of Nine Bunkers. To come to Hue Hiep Hoa's tomb, you can travel by personal means (car, motorbike) or hire a taxi.

From Hue city center, you go about 7km to the southwest, go to the historic Nine Bunkers. On the way here, you will meet a large cemetery with a lot of tombstones. Pay attention to the roadside will have a stone stele to guide the way to Hiep Hoa king's tomb. Here, you follow a small trail leading to the mausoleum. Visitors travel about 100 meters to the king's tomb.

Experience Guide:

Today, when coming to Hue, on the journey to visit relic sites such as Ngo Dinh Can Monument House, Nine Bunkers Historic Site, Huyen Tran Cultural Center, visitors should not forget to visit Hiep Hoa King's Mausoleum not far away to understand more about the life of a king associated with the tragedy of the "Tu Nguyet Tam Vuong" of the Nguyen Dynasty.