Exhibition of old maps, photos shows Saigon of 200 years ago

By Quynh Tran   December 4, 2018 | 03:53 pm GMT+7
The transformation of HCMC can be glimpsed through images from 1799 to 1922.
Exhibition of old maps, photos shows Saigon of 200 years ago

An exhibition of old maps and panoramic pictures of Saigon is on at Nguyen Van Binh Street in the city’s District 1 from November 30 to December 9. It has 15 ancient maps, both printed and hand-drawn, created between 1799 and 1922.

- 1

The oldest map on display is from 1799.

- 2

The original maps showing the war zone during the French attack on Saigon from 1859 to 1863 are being exhibited for the first time ever.

- 3

A map of Saigon in 1881 by Farvre, a Marine Corps captain. At that time Duc Ba Cathedral (Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica) in the center of the city was finished.

- 4

The map of Saigon was colored in 1878, when the French took over and gradually redesigned the city. At this time there were entities such as the governor’s palace (currently Tran Dai Nghia high school), the residence of French officers, the securities trading department and an officers’ club.

- 5

A map of Saigon in 1893 clearly labels places such as Norodom Palace, Roman Catholic Archdiocese, a local middle school, a court, the train station, Dong Duong Bank (Indochina Bank), a police station, the My Tho railway line and others.

Below is a map of land use in the city. Blue represents military lands, black represents land for public services and pink indicates private land.

- 6

Road maps of Saigon and surrounding areas such as Bien Hoa, Binh Duong and Long An in 1922 by Nha Dia du Dong Duong (Indochina Geographic Publishing House).

- 7

Many visitors are interested in the materials on display. A man called Manh said: "I may have seen these maps in books or online, but this is the first time I have seen such size, details and information."

- 8

A part of the exhibition comprises panoramic photos of old Saigon including of landmarks like Duc Ba Cathedral, Thuong Tho Palace, Norodom Palace, and Bach Dang pier.

- 9

The tax department’s warehouse on Belgique wharf, now Vo Van Kiet Street.

- 10

The building with the ornately tiled roof is a hospital in the Cho Lon (Chinatown) area built in 1909. It is where present-day Nguyen Trai Hospital in District 5 is.

- 11

Picture of the end of a ceremony at Duc Ba Cathedral. Currently, the place is fenced for renovation. Le Dinh Long, 65, said: "These photos are from my grandfather’s time, and they allow me to see the life of Saigonese hundreds of years ago. Fortunately, many of the places are still intact."

go to top