Hue residents angry after ancient royal tomb bulldozed
Conflict continues over the razed king wife’s tomb
Hue yet to rebuild bulldozed royal tomb after 15 months

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A temporary tomb was built at the origninal location of the bulldozed mausoleum of a wife of King Tu Duc. — Photo

The chairman of the province’s People’s Committee ordered concerned agencies to find a feasible solution to the situation, according to Phan Thanh Hai, director of the department.

The first proposal would keep the tomb at its original location.

Hai said the authorities would adjust the plan for the parking lot to exclude the tomb’s site.

The second solution would involve moving the tomb near the resting place of Hoc Phi, another wife of the king. The Nguyen Family Committee would have to accept the plan.

In both solutions, the tomb will be placed under the Committee's care.

Hai said the first solution would be more suitable because Chuoi Gia Tri Ltd Company, which is building the parking area for tourists visiting the mausoleums of King Tu Duc and King Dong Khanh in Hue's Thuy Xuan Ward, had also proposed cutting out 200sq.m of land for the tomb site in its original place.


On June 27, Thua Thien-Hue People’s Committee asked agencies to propose solutions for the tomb more than two years after it was intentionally bulldozed by the contractor building the parking lot.

The mausoleum, as described by local residents, had an arched gate, fairly high walls and a blue stone stele.

The Nguyen Family Committee searched the construction area and found the stele with carved words with meaning "Tomb of royal concubine Le Thi Thuc Thuan". The Committee also found the remnants of a buried hole and layers of bricks from the Nguyen Dynasty.

Researcher Do Bang, vice chairman of the Historical Science Association, said a gold gilded tablet worshipped inside King Tu Duc's mausoleum has the same name. He said the stone stele belonged to the bulldozed tomb of the king's wife.

The Committee asked for permission from local authorities to construct a temporary tomb with the stele surrounded by a fence and covered with a metal roof. Since the temporary structure was built, the project has been on hold,

King Tu Duc was born in 1829 as Nguyen Phuc Hong Nham, and changed his name to Nguyen Phuc Thi when crowned. He was the fourth king of the Nguyen Dynasty and had the longest reign (1847-1883). He had 103 wives but there were no sufficient reports on his wives. Though noone was crowned Queen, the holder of the highest title was Hoang Quy Phi.

During his reign, in 1858, the French-Spanish force attacked Da Nang in the neighbourhood. The royal court could not resist the French and hoped to negotiate by giving them land.

In 1883, the king passed away. Then the French attacked the imperial citadel to force the Nguyen court to admit the "protection" of the French in Dai Nam (then the name for Vietnam) territory.
After Tu Duc's reign, the Nguyen Dynasty was just a name without any power because the country was controlled by the French.