Tomb of Gia Long

Tomb of Gia Long (Thien Tho Lang) is located 16 km from the centre of Hue on top of the Thien Tho Mountain on the west nbank of the Perfume River. Construction of the tomb began in 1814 and was completed in 1820. Located in a vast wilderness covered with a wide canopy ofold pine trees, the tomb was built according to a simple and magnificient design.

The tomb occupies a large area of 11,234.40 m and includes the following tombs:

- Quang Hung Tomb of the Queen Thai Tong Hieu Triet, the second wife of Hien Vuong, Lord Nguyen Phuc Tan (1620-1687)

- Vinh Mau Tomb of the Queen Anh Tong Hieu Nghia, the wife of Nghia Vuong, Lord Nguyen Phuc Thai (1650 -1725)

- Truong Phong Tomb of Tuc Tong Hieu Ninh Nguyen Phuc Thu Emperor (1697-1738)

- Thoai Thanh Tomb of the Queen Hung To Hieu Khuong (1738 - 1811), the second wife of Nguyen Phuc Con (Luan) and also the mother of Gia Long Emperor.

- Hoang Co Tomb of the Princess Thai Truong Long Thanh, the sister of Emperor Gia Long.

- Thien Tho Tomb of Emperor Gia Long and his wife

- Thien Tho Huu Tomb of the Queen Thuan Thien Cao, the second wife of Emperor Gia Long and also the mother of Emperor Minh Mang.

The whole area of this tomb is a complex of forty-two small and giant hills and mountains, each with a different name, of which, Great Thien Tho is the largest. The king’s tomb is located in a exceedingly hilly region. In the front is Great Thien Tho Mount and seven others mountains form the back. Fourteen mountains named “Ta Thanh Long” and “Huu Bach Ho” (Left Blue Dragon and Right White Tiger) stands on the left and right sides. The total tomb area is divided into 3 sections:

+ The Emperor and Queen Thua Thien Cao’s tomb stands in the center. Through the courtyard repieced with solemn stone statue lines and a seven-step offering yard, lies Buu Thanh (the sepulchre) on the hilltop.

+ Minh Thanh Temple, a place dedicated to the Emperor and his first wife, is located on the right.

+ To the left side is Bi Dinh (the Stele Pavilion). At present, a large stele, which is elaborately carved, still remains at this place. The stele notes the literary work “Thanh duc Than Cong” (The great virtues and merits) of Emperor Ming Mang in praise of his father.

Gia Long Tomb is a harmonious masterpiece between nature and man-made architecture. There, in a peaceful and quiet poetic space, lies the final resting-place of the first Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty.

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