Ancient home with West-East marriage style stands test of time

By Di Vy   November 5, 2019 | 05:06 pm GMT+7

Binh Thuy, a well-preserved 149-year-old house, is one of Can Tho City’s most popular attractions.

Binh Thuy ancient house at 144 Bui Huu Nghia Street in Can Tho City was built by Duong Chan Ky, a wealthy merchant in 1870. In the early 20th century, it was renovated and remains the new look until today.

The house at 144 Bui Huu Nghia Street was built by Duong Chan Ky, a wealthy merchant in 1870, and was renovated in the early 20th century.

Through the main gate, visitors see an auxiliary gate built in Asian architecture style with four columns. This was the main gate before the 20th century renovation.

Through the main gate visitors see an East Asian-style traditional gate with four columns. The main gate was a 20th century addition.

It’s been 149 years but the interiors and architectural styles have lasted to this day.

It has been a century and a half but the house’s interiors and architectural styles remain intact.

The interiors are characterized with traditional Eastern crafts, while the exteriors underline Western style that blend well with the natural landscape.

The interiors are characterized by traditional East Asian crafts, while the exteriors are in West European style and blend well with the landscape.

Currently the house is managed by Ngo Thi Ngoc Lien, 75 (left), the wife of the sixth son of the house owner Duong Chan Ky. Before she retired and started to be the housekeeper, Lien was an English teacher. Her main job is to take care of the housework for the family and welcome and entertain visitors.Lien said the interiors of the five front areas of the house are arranged like that of a Vietnamese family in the 19th century. They are used as a place of reception in important ceremonies. Rooms like kitchens and bedrooms are at the back.

It is currently managed by Ngo Thi Ngoc Lien, 75 (left), the wife of a sixth-generation descendant of the owner, Duong Chan Ky.

Lien used to be an English teacher before retirement. Her main job now is to take care of the housework for the family and welcome and entertain visitors.

She said the interiors of the five front areas of the house are arranged in 19th century Vietnamese style. They are used for important ceremonies. Rooms used by the household like kitchens and bedrooms are at the back.

The entire floor is made with tiles imported from France. The plafond ceiling and many other details are painted with eye-catching patterns.Lien said there is a 10-cm thich salt layer under the tiles which keep the floor cool in summer days. The house is still a gathering place for Ky’s descendants on special occasions.

The floors are made of tiles imported from France. The plafond in the ceiling and other details are painted with eye-catching patterns.

Lien said there is a 10-cm thick salt layer under the tiles which keeps the floor cool in summer. The house remains a gathering place for Ky’s descendants on special occasions.

The house also boasts a selection of furniture including an 18th-century chandelier and 19th-century hanging lights. The sophisticatedly designed chandeliers were also brought from France.

The house also boasts a selection of furniture including an 18th-century chandelier and 19th-century hanging lights. The sophisticated chandeliers were also obtained from France.

The antique items like the intricate vase have been preserved by generations of the family. Their collection includes two sets of tables and chairs originating from Yunnan era, marble countertops, Louis XV French lounge suite with blue marble countertops ...

Antique items like this intricate vase have been preserved by generations of the family. Their collection includes two sets of tables and chairs originating from Yunnan (China), marble countertops and a Louis XV French lounge suite with blue marble countertops.

A flower-patterned sink with a wooden base.

A flower-patterned sink with a wooden base.

The house which is also where the altar of the Duong’s family was placed was recognized as a National Monument in 2009. Despite the heavy influence of Western arts present in the house, its Eastern characteristics are much felt.

The house was recognized as a National Monument in 2009.

The ancient house of Binh Thuy has also been chosen by many film crews as the main setting including Lovers, a 1992 erotic drama film based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Marguerite Duras.

The ancient house of Binh Thuy is also a popular location for film shoots, and was the setting for Lovers, a 1992 erotic drama film based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Marguerite Duras.

A large garden with flowers blooming all year round shade many visitors of the house.

A large garden with flowers blooming all year round offers shade to the many visitors who come to see the house.

 
 
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