Gia Long Tomb is located on the top of the Thien Tho Mountain, on the west bank of the Perfume River, about 16km from Hue city’s center.

Emperor Gia Long was born in 1762 and died in 1819. His tomb is a complex of several royal tombs including the tomb of his mother, the tomb of himself and his wives, and tombs of other royal family’s members. This complex was mainly built in 6 year, from 1814 to 1820.

Being a man of strong will who had spent his life on battlefields for almost a quarter of a century (1775 – 1801), he finally unified the country and came to the throne in 1802. His tomb consequently bore witness to a military commander’s unflinching character.

When his first queen died in 1814, he ordered the construction of a double-grave tomb, one for her and another for himself. The site chosen for the purpose was an extending hilly region, some 20 km by road or by water south of the Citadel of Hue. Earlier, in the area, there had been tombs of his family members. When his second queen died later in 1846, her tomb was also constructed not far from his.

Amid a vast and magnificent natural environment, Gia Long tomb has about 20 monuments arranged in 3 groups:

Central group

There are the double-grave tomb of the Emperor and Queen Thua Thien. Passing the Honor Court, visitors can see imposing stone statues. Seven steps of the worship-yard lead to Buu Thanh on the hill top. Inside Buu Thanh, the stone double-grave is built according to the concept of “Can Khon Hiep Duc”, a symbol of happiness and loyalty.

Right group

The main monument is Minh Thanh Temple, dedicated to the Emperor and his first Queen. Formerly, it used to contain many artefacts related to Gia Long’s military life.

Left group

The main monument is the stele pavilion. Nowadays, only the stele is left, minutely inscribed with Emperor Minh Mang’s singing of the late Emperor’s praises.

Gia Long tomb was seriously damaged by war. Some basic architectural elements remain however almost intact giving us concepts of the tomb’s value. Recently, Hue Monuments Conservation Center has conducted a restoration project to rehabilitate main components of Gia Long tomb’s complex.

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