Gia Long Tomb – Nguyen Dynasty

Gia Long Tomb-Culture-Pham-Travel

1. Gia Long Tomb – Nguyen Dynasty Introduction

When it comes to the history of Vietnam, the Nguyen Dynasty is an unforgettable period under the reign of Nguyen Anh Emperor (Gia Long Emperor, 1762 – 1819). The tomb of Gia Long Emperor lies on the top of Thien Tho Mountain, on the west bank of Perfume River, 16 km away from the heart of Hue City. In fact, Gia Long Tomb is a complex including numerous tombs of Emperor Gia Long, his mother, his wives, and other royal family members as well. Nowadays, It is at Huong Tho Commune, Huong Tra District, Thua Thien Hue Province. Gia Long Tomb recognized as one of UNESCO World Heritages.

Gia Long Emperor
The Tomb’s overview

2. History of Gia Long Tomb

Dedicating his youth to battlefields for nearly 25 years (1775- 1801). Gia Long Emperor finally unified the country and took the throne in 1802. So, his royal tomb is the witness to a military commander’s strong-willed figure.

The construction of the mausoleum lasted in six years, from 1814 to 1820. Originally, the tomb was constructed for Emperor Gia Long’s first wife, Thua Thien empress. But lately, It became Gia Long’s and some of his family members’ burial site.

Gia Long Royal tomb in Hue, Vietnam
Gia Long Royal tomb in Hue, Vietnam

Sadly, the royal tomb suffered serious damage from the war. Although some of the architectural components remain, they give us concepts of values of the tomb. Recently, the mausoleum has been under renovation to rehabilitate major components of the complex.

3. The construction of the Tomb of Gia Long

Tomb of Gia Long in Hue City

The worshiping area of Gia Long Tomb lies on a large flat hill. It gets the Dai Thien Tho Mount to be the beautiful natural screen in front. Behind the tomb, there are 7 mountains to be the post-occipital. Moreover, on the left and right, each side has 14 mountains, looks like a Green Dragon and a White Tiger guarding the royal tomb. Gia Long Tomb is divided into 3 areas:

3.1. The beautiful Burial Area

Gia Long in Hue

Entering into the burial area is the Royal court-yard with some imposing stones sculptures of horses, elephants, civil and military servants. Keep walking up to 7 honor courtyard steps is the burial site on the peak of the mount. In the center of the burial area is the double graves of Gia Long emperor and Thua Thien empress next to each other- a symbol of happiness and loyalty.


On the left of the burial area is the Minh Thanh Temple. As you know, It is the place where they set up altars to worship Gia Long emperor and his first lady. In addition, in this solemn temple, there are many memorabilia sticking to the life of the King Gia Long, such as belts, hats, saddles

Minh Thanh Gate in GIa Long Tomb
Minh Thanh Gate

Despite the remote location compared with other royal tombs in Hue City. The tomb is the most breathtaking with endless mountain ranges, pine forests and paths among green grass and wonderful wildflowers. 

3.2. Bi Dinh Pavilion

Gia Long Tomb- Nguyen Dynasty

On the left of the tomb is Bi Dinh. There is the only large stele with the inscription “Minh Duc Than Cong” of Minh Mang emperor to praise his father’s life and accomplishments, which was carved very elaborately and exquisitely.

3.3. Royal family member burial areas in Gia Long Tomb.

As you know, plenty of Nguyen Dynasty royal family members, such as Gia Long’s mother (known as Thoai Thanh Tomb); and elder sister (Hoang Co Tomb), were buried here as well. The burial sites made the Gia Long mausoleum’s perimeter rise to roughly 11,234 meters.

4. The Royal Tomb Map

5. How to get to Gia Long Tomb?

To get to Gia Long Tomb, you can take a dragon boat to go along the Perfume River (known as Huong River). The tomb is pretty far so it takes around two hours to get there.

Apart from a boat trip, you can ride a bike, drive a car or book a grab bike to Kim Ngoc wharf and then take a boat to get there. Moreover, you can book a Hue Tours or Hue City Tour By Private Car via Culture Pham Travel to get full enjoyment.

6. Gia Long Tomb open time and entrance fee

The entrance ticket at this Royal Tomb costs about four dollars/ person, and the opening time is from 7:30 a.m. till 5 p.m.

Moreover, you can learn more about the most fabulous Hue Royal Tombs at Top Hue Royal Tombs You Must Visit

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3 thoughts on “Gia Long Tomb – Nguyen Dynasty

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