Tomb of Khai Dinh (Ung Mausoleum)
View font:
Khai Dinh Tomb, also known as Ung Lang (應陵) is the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh (1885-1925), the 12th Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty
Address: Thuy Bang, Huong Thuy, Thua Thien Hue
Status: Recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1993
Price: 150.000 VND/adult - Children: Free

Khai Dinh Tomb, also known as Ung Lang (應陵) is the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh (1885-1925), the 12th Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, located on the slopes of Chau Chu mountain (also known as Chau E) outside Hue capital city, now belongs to Thuy Bang commune, Huong Thuy town.

Emperor Khai Dinh ascended the throne in 1916 at the age of 31. Immediately after accession, he built many palaces, mansions and mausoleums for himself and the royal family such as Kien Trung Palace, An Dinh Palace, Truong An Gate, Hien Nhon Gate, Chuong Duc gate, especially Ung Mausoleum.

These works consume a lot of manpower and property of the people, but they are also works of special cultural and artistic value.


On September 4, 1920: Khai Dinh Tomb was started to be built under the command of Former Military Governor Le Van Ba with the participation of many famous artisans throughout the country at that time.

On November 6, 1925: Emperor Khai Dinh died and was buried in Ung Mausoleum. Construction of the mausoleum was continued and completed by Emperor Bao Dai.

1931: Emperor Khai Dinh's mausoleum was completed after 11 years of construction.


• The mausoleum has the smallest area but the longest construction time

Overall, the mausoleum is a rectangular floating block reaching 127 steps high, with Thien Dinh Palace as the center. Mountains, hills, and streams of a large area around the Mausoleum are used as feng shui elements: front, back, left dragon, right tiger, clear path, and water convergence, giving Khai Dinh mausoleum a majestic natural landscape.
Compared to the mausoleums of the previous kings, Khai Dinh mausoleum has a much more modest area, with the size of 117 m × 48.5 m, but it is extremely elaborate and time-consuming.

• The only mausoleum with East-West cultural interference

To build the mausoleum, Khai Dinh ordered people to France to buy iron, steel, cement, and Ardoise tiles..., ordered boats to China and Japan to buy porcelain, glassware, and color crystals... to construct buildings on this hill.


The architecture of Khai Dinh Tomb does not follow the principles of a certain architectural school, but is a bold combination of many architectural schools from Hinduism, Buddhism, Gothique to Roman... that has left its mark on specific buildings, tower-shaped portals influenced by Indian architecture; stoupa pillar of the Buddha; fences like scrawny Crosses; stele pavilion with octagonal columns and arches in Roman style variation...

That combination clearly shows the contemporary influences on the thought of Emperor Khai Dinh, when the East - West cultures had an interference in the transition period of history.

Therefore, Khai Dinh Tomb is lavish, ostentatious, and unique compared to the traditional architectural works of Vietnam.

Artistic Value:

The highest artistic value of the Mausoleum is the interior decoration of Thien Dinh Palace. The three areas in the palace are decorated with reliefs made of porcelain and colored glass. Especially the Buu canopy on the bronze statue, weighing 1 ton with soft and elegant curves, makes viewers feel like it's made of very gentle silk. Below Buu canopy is a bronze statue of Khai Dinh cast in France in 1922 at the request of the emperor.

Khai Dinh Tomb is considered as the pinnacle of porcelain and glass shaping art in the early 20th century.