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HCM from A-ZThursday, 10/05/2006, 02:50

The Reunification Palace

"Reunification Palace (Hoi Truong Thong Nhat) is one of the most fascinating things to see in Saigon, " said Daniel Robinson and Joe Cummings, the two authors of a famous travel survival book about Vietnam
The Reunification Palace

The Reunification Palace

 

"Reunification Palace (Hoi Truong Thong Nhat) is one of the most fascinating things to see in Saigon, " said Daniel Robinson and Joe Cummings, the two authors of a famous travel survival book about Vietnam.

 

Historically and architecturally, it is.

 

With regard to history this building witnessed every historic events happening to the Saigon government until the regime finally collapsed in April 30, 1975.

 

Twenty years after the liberation of Saigon, the name of this historical building has become familiar to every inhabitant of this city. However, formerly, in the Saigon regime, the building was known as Dinh Doc Lap (which means the Independence Palace) where different presidents of South Vietnam resided.

 

 Under the Saigon regime, the "Independence Palace" always symbolized the power of the government of "South Vietnam." In the end, on the morning of April 30, 1975, a tank of the Liberation forces crashed into the iron gate of the palace terminating the existence of a regime.

 

In addition to historic value, the Reunification Palace is also famed for its architectural characteristics which are unique in Vietnam. History has it that in 1868 a palace for the General Governor of Cochinchina, then a French colony, was built on what is now the Independence Palace.

 

The building later became the presidential palace of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) following the 1954 Geneva Treaty. Later, a new design for the building was carefully drawn up by Ngo Viet Thu, one of the most talented Vietnamese architects. The new building was constructed on the site and completed in 1966.

 

Located in the heart of downtown Saigon, the Reunification Palace was built on a block of 12 hectares, bordering four streets: Nam Ky Khoi Nghia in the front (the main entrance is open to Le Duan Boulevard), Huyen Tran Cong Chua in the back, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai on the right and Nguyen Du on the left. Surrounded by immense lawns and high trees in its gardens, the main building of the palace is modern architecture, typical of the 60's.

 

Before 1975, access to the palace and some surroudning areas was prohibited to the public. Now the site has become a famous tourist attraction in HCM City. The palace hosts about 700-1,000 tourists per day on average. According to Mr. Bui Duc Huy, the palace's director, the number of visitors can amount to 2,500-3,000 on Sundays.

 

The Reunification Palace is open all the week from 7 :30 am to 11 :30 am and 1 :00 pm to 5:00 pm. Entrance fee: VND2,000 a child and VND15,000 an adult. Tel: 294117.

 


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