Located in a narrow valley in Duong Xuan Thuong Village, 8km from Hue City, Tu Duc Tomb is considered as one of the most beautiful and picturesque and largest works of architecture of Nguyen Dynasty’s royal palaces and tombs. People say that Tu Duc Tomb is a must in every tour to Hue City.
The imperial tomb of Tu Duc is considered to be the most beautiful Imperial tomb of every Hue. This tomb set in a beautiful natural and bathed by a Lake, 6 km outside of Hue, was used by the Emperor Tu Duc in life as Summer Palace and spiritual retreat.
The tomb was constructed between 1864 and 1867. The construction of Tu Duc’s tomb requires an incredible amount of money and labour, thus resulted in a rebellion of workers. Therefore, the tomb was renamed as Khiem Lang, in comparison with the former name: Van Nien Co (expresses the wish to be permanent).
In addition, all the constructions’ names were changed to bear the word Khiem (Modesty) in their names, as the king wanted to express his humility.
It was the place where he could retreat from the Citadel to compose poetry or go hunting because the monument was finished when the king was still in reign. The design of the tomb is said to clearly reflect the profound knowledge and romance of the king’s characteristics.
The Imperial of the Emperor Tu Duc Tomb (Tự Đức) is an architectural complex which covers 12 hectares of surface and in its interior we can find 50 buildings between palaces and pavilions. The Tomb Imperial it took to build 3 years (since the year 1864 to 1867) and the imperial tomb of Hue that best fuses with the nature that surrounds it is.
The footballer Emperor Tu Duc design the Imperial tomb, once finished, used in life for years as a Summer Palace and retreat. They were frequent walks through the pine forest, see him navigate the river or practice any kind of games on the small island of the Lake.
Structure and composition
The entire complex of the Imperial Tomb Tu Duc is surrounded by a stone wall. Access is to the southeast, through the door Vu Khiem.
Once inside the imperial tomb, we divir the monument in two major areas:
The area of the temples
The area of the graves
A glance at the tomb can create the illusion of a scenic park, packed with lakes, hills, pavilios amidst the lushness of frangipani trees and grove of pines. It’s surrounded by a solid octagonal wall.
A few notable sites in the temple area inside the tomb can be listed as Luu Khiem Lake, Tinh Khiem Island, Xung Khiem Pavilion, Hoa Khiem Temple (which commemorated the King and the Queen).
Hoa Khiem Temple is a small museum of the King’s life: a mirror used by the King’s concubines; a lock gifted by the French; the funerary tablets of the emperor and empress. As the tomb also functions as a home away from home, there is even a royal theatre inside the complex, named Minh Khiem Duong.
The theatre is a reflection of Tu Duc’s poetic soul, with the ceiling carved with stars, clouds, crescent moon and sky. Today, perfomances are not shown in this theatre but in Xung Khiem Ta (near Luu Khiem Lake).
The remaining part is the tomb area, consisting of the Honour Courtyard, the Stele Pavilion and the seplucre. The Stele Pavilion of this tomb is known as the biggest one in Vietnam, in which the king has inscribed about his life by himself.
Coming to Tu Duc Tomb, tourists may feel like they’re lost in a huge scenery park, where the old monuments of old feudal time are harmoniously in tune with the natural atmosphere.
The suggested means of transport to travel to Tu Duc Tomb is by motorbike, car or even bikes. This site can be included in a tour from Khai Dinh Tomb and Tu Hieu Pagoda. Remember to wear comfortable shoes as visiting this tomb means a lot of walking.
Facts about the Emperor Tu Duc
The Emperor Tu Duc was the Emperor of the Nguyen dynasty who reigned longer in Vietnam, since the year 1848 up to the year 1883.
While he enjoyed the company of more than 100 women among women and concubines, he had no offspring (thought it was sterile after contracting smallpox). Tu Duc decided to adopt as a son to his nephew Kien Phuc.
Facts about Imperial Tu Duc Tomb
The wake that can be seen in the Pavilion in the wake of the Imperial Tu Duc Tomb, is the largest of all Vietnam wake, with 20 tons of weight. To transport it to the imperial tomb they took 4 years.
To build the Tomb Imperial was needed so much work and boarded both taxes, that Hue was a popular revolt against the Emperor Tu Duc.
How to getting there
Imperial Tuc Duc Tomb is located 6 kilometers southeast of the city of Hue, along the Perfume River. We can reach the Tu Duc tomb using the same means of transport to go to the Dong Khanh Tomb.
Since they are very close to each other. Recommended with a car, but you can also go to the imperial Tu Duc tomb boat on the Perfume River (stopped at the Ben Than pier).
Open hour: The Tuc Duc tomb is open daily at 7:00 to 11:30 and 13:30 to 17:30 schedule.
Entry fee: Access to the Imperial Tu Duc tomb is free but not free. The price of the ticket are 80,000 VND ( 3€, see Vietnam currency).
Contact the Imperial Tomb Tu Duc
Phone: 84 (0) 54 523237
Address: Xa Huyện Thuy Xuan Huong Thuy ( Hue, Vietnam)
Year of construction: 1864-1867
Hue distance: 6 km
Entrance fee: 80. 000VND (about 3€)
Price from: USD 149
Price from: USD 724
Price from: USD 870
Price from: USD 416
Price from: USD 1435