French President to delve into Hanoi's history with trip to ancient house

By Ngoc Thanh   September 5, 2016 | 07:31 pm PT
The house has borne witness to 100 years of Vietnam's turbulent history.

The house at 87 Ma May Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter is one of the stops French President Francois Hollande will make during his first trip to Vietnam as head of state from September 5 - 7. It’s been 12 years since the last president of the Hexagon, Jacque Chirac, paid the country an official visit. Let VnExpress take you on a visual tour to make sense of the president’s time in Hanoi.

According to the itinerary, the president will take a tour of the Old Quarter and visit the legacy house at 87 Ma May Street. The ancient house together with another 13 old friends were built during 1890s and have been restored to be the historic marks of Hanois Old Quarter.

According to the itinerary, the president will take a tour of the Old Quarter and visit the ancient house at 87 Ma May Street. Together with another 13 "old friends", the houses were built during the 1890s and have been restored to become the historic landmarks in Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

The house was built in traditional Vietnamese architecture to be a residency and shop with a big window in the ground floor. The house owners had been living and selling rice here before 1945. After 1945, it was sold to a Chinese family as a residency and Chinese medicine shop. Above is the wooden staircase.

The house features traditional Vietnamese architecture to serve both as a residence and shop with a big window on the ground floor. The original owners made a living from selling rice, but sold it to a Chinese family in 1945 who used it to sell traditional medicine. 


In 1999, the house underwent a joint restoration project between Hanoi and Toulouse (France). The house covers an area of 157.6 square meters. Above is the wooden staircase.

Tổng thống Pháp sẽ thăm nhà cổ hơn trăm năm ở Hà Nội

The altar of ancestors is placed in a sacred place in the living room on the first floor with two wooden plaques with Chinese verses, a popular thing in the past.


The owners' bedroom with wooden furniture. There are balconies on both sides of the room.


Another bedroom with big doors to receive light and help with ventilation.


The house is an example of traditional building techniques, and features through sophisticatedly engraved wooden trusses, weight-bearing walls (in the days of no steel reinforced concrete pillars) and a tiled floor on wooden beams. In 2004, Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture recognized the house as a national monument.


The wooden cupboard houses ancient artefacts.


A set of paintings named “Four Prosperous Seasons” hung on the wall.


This ancient phone used to be a sign of prosperity in the past.


The old wooden pantry which could be found in all Vietnamese homes during that era.


A ceramic bong, teapot, cups and paan box all date back to 18th and 19th centuries.

Photos by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

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