Da Lat's century-old mansions to rise from oblivion

By Khanh Huong   September 5, 2016 | 05:03 am PT
Scores of abandoned 100-year-old colonial mansions are waiting to be restored to their former glory.

Before 1975, the Central Highland town of Da Lat had around 1,500 villas, mostly built in the French colonial style from the early 20th century. Many of them have been left to fall into decay after decades of neglect, and only a lucky few retain their former glory to serve tourists looking for a romantic experience with a pinch of nostalgia. 

Le Quang Trung, the director of Lam Dong’s Department of Construction, said agencies concerned are working on a scheme to revive the mansions from oblivion.  


An abandoned mansion on Co Giang Street.


Another deserted two-storey villa on Co Giang Street.


For years, Da Lat has been planning to renovate 170 mansions around the city, but so far only a few are open to tourists.


Many villas used to serve as public offices for the authorities in Lam Dong Province. However, in April 2014, provincial authorities moved to a new building, extending the list of abandoned villas. 


The former headquarters of the Committee of Lam Dong Ethnic Groups. It’s now covered in grass after the agency moved to the new administrative center.


Dozens of ancient villas in Da Lat are facing the same problem. High rents are cited as the main reason.


Weeds grow on a window balcony in lieu of flower pots.


A mansion is surrounded by meter-high grass on Hung Vuong Street


The doors have been boarded up to secure the house.


Many of the walls have peeled off, revealing rows of century-old stones.


Tiles have fallen from the roofs, leaving only wooden frames.

Photos by VnExpress/Khanh Huong

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