Captivating tomb of Nguyen Dynasty’s longest reigning king

By Vo Thanh   October 29, 2019 | 01:50 pm GMT+7

The Tomb of Modesty where King Tu Duc rests is tucked under Vong Canh Mountain in the imperial town of Hue.

A bird view of Khiem Lang (Tomb of Modesty). King Tu Duc (1829-1833) reigned for over 35 years since 1848, the longest among rulers of the Nguyen Dynasty. His tomb, with some 50 constructions surrounded by a 1,500 m long wall, was built in 1866 and completed in 1873.

A bird’s-eye view of Khiem Lang (Tomb of Modesty).

King Tu Duc (1829-1883) reigned for over 35 years from 1848, the longest by any ruler of the Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam's last royal family (1802-1945). His elaborate tomb, with some 50 structures and surrounded by a 1.5-km-long wall, was built in 1873.

Today, the tomb is a large park with natural streams, array of pine trees and bird songs. The tomb of the king is located in the highest area of the complex surrounded by ancient pine forest.

Today, the tomb is a large park with natural streams, array of pine trees and bird songs. The tomb of the king is located in the highest area of the complex surrounded by ancient pine forest.

The architecture of Tu Ducs tomb reflects the emperor’s romantic nature. In front of the tomb is Giang Khiem Mountain and behind it is Duong Xuan Mountain. Inside the complex is Luu Khiem Lake.

The architecture of Tu Duc's tomb reflects the emperor’s romantic nature. In front of the tomb is Giang Khiem Mountain and behind it is Duong Xuan Mountain. Inside the complex is Luu Khiem Lake.

Khiem Cung Mon, a building where the king used to go for a rest, consists of two gazebo-style floors with the Luu Khiem in front.The building is representative of the beautiful architectural works in the premises of Tu Duc tomb. There are many buildings here carries the word Khiem (Modesty) in their name.

Khiem Cung Mon, a gazebo-style building the king used to rest in, consists of two floors with Luu Khiem Lake in front. The building is representative of the beautiful architecture of the complex. There are many buildings here with the word "Khiem" (Modesty) in their names.

Located in the middle of complex, Hoa Khiem palace was where the king used to sit and work. Now an altar in honor of the king and his wife is placed. Behind the altar lies an exhibition of many antiques that King Tu Duc used to use including a tattoo game kit.

In the middle of the complex is Hoa Khiem Palace, where the king used to sit and work. Now an altar for the king and his wife is placed here. Behind the altar lies an exhibition of items King Tu Duc used, including a tattoo game kit.

The tomb of the king was built of delicate stone with intricate carvings. This is a signature architecture of the Nguyen Dynastys tomb.

The tomb of the king was built of delicate stone with intricate carvings. This is a signature architecture of the Nguyen Dynasty's tomb.

In front of the tomb situated a structure built with mallet bricks and roofed with tiles. The two-story gazebo with intricate carvings is where the king placed Khiem Cung Ky, an autobiography of his engraved in stone.

In front of the tomb is a structure built with mallet bricks and roofed with tiles. The two-story gazebo with intricate carvings is where the king placed Khiem Cung Ky, an autobiography of his engraved in stone.

It consists of 4,935 words, detailing the king's life, career, the challenges he faced and the illnesses he suffered from. The stone also mentions the merits and sins of the king. Khiem Cung Ky was recognized as a National Treasure in 2015.

[Xung Khiem Ta and Du Khiem Ta located by Luu Khiem lake are made of wood and covered with gold colour-tiled roofs. The King used to frequent here to do sightseeing, write poems and read books. Today, Hue Monuments Conservation Center regularly organizes performances of songs about Hue at Xung Khiem Ta building for visitors.

Xung Khiem Ta and Du Khiem Ta located by Luu Khiem Lake are made of wood and have a roof with gold-colored tiles. The king used to frequent here to do sightseeing, write poems and read books. Now the Hue Monuments Conservation Center regularly organizes performances of songs about Hue at Xung Khiem Ta.

Like in the tombs of all Nguyen Dynasty kings, there is a court in front of King Tu Duc’s tomb. On both sides of the court are statues of battle horses and elephants exquisitely carved in stone.

Like in the tombs of all Nguyen Dynasty kings, there is a court in front of King Tu Duc’s tomb. On both sides of the court are statues of battle horses and elephants exquisitely carved in stone.

 
 
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