Located by the bank of An Cuu canal, An Dinh palace or Cung An Dinh used to be the private residence of Nguyen Phuc Buu Dao (later Emperor Khai Dinh).
Having a huge renovation in modern style between 1917-1919, this European castle officially became the residence of the crown-prince Vinh Thuy (later Emperor Bao Dai) and his family.
An Dinh palace during Vietnam war
After the Vietnamese liberation movement had forced his abdication in 1945, Bao Dai moved from the Imperial City to the An Dinh Palace with his mother Tu Cung, his wife and his children.
Later, he settled permanently in Paris and his mother alone remained at the palace until the Southern contemporary government of Ngo Dinh Diem seized the palace after 1954.
As a result, the former Queen Mother had to move and lived at the nearby smaller building (which is also known as Tu Cung Residence) until she died in 1980 without ever seeing Bao Dai again.
What to expect when visiting Emperor Khai Dinh Palace?
The 3-storey palace with over 20 rooms is called Khai Tuong Lau. In the main, middle room are six mural paintings featuring the royal tombs of the Nguyen kings. The statue of Khai Dinh, which was formerly located in Trung Lap Temple, is now display here.
Ornamental motifs in the innermost rooms are lavish and opulent yet become more dainty and floral on the periphery. After many changes of function and interior design happened during and after the war, the building was seriously damaged, especially the interior decoration was covered by many different layers of new painting.
WATCH THIS VIDEO HERE TO SEE THE GRAND PALACE AN DINH
Cung An Dinh’s Restoration
The main building of the An Dinh Palace of Hue was recently restored as part of a German Government aid project where international specialists trained locals in restoration techniques.
The work was especially focused on six large paintings of the Hue countryside commissioned by Khai Dinh.
These are a highlight of a visit, along with the building’s ornate interior and exterior work. Information on the palace is even more scarce than at most of Hue’s historical sights so the story of An Dinh Palace is still yet to discover.
It is nowadays publicly open and a worthy place to visit in Hue beside the citadel.
Information of An Dinh Castle
Address: 179 Phan Dinh Phung street, Hue City, Vietnam
Opening hours: 07:00 – 17:30
Ticket price: 40,000 VND
Comment of tourists about An Dinh palace
It’s a bit of a hidden gem in Hue, so not even all taxi drivers know where to take you. I was the only guest in this time, so I had the whole palace for myself. It is an absolutely beautiful building with an interesting mix of French and Vietnamese architecture. The front and interior of the building is nicely restored. Unfortunately not the back side of the building. Pictures are only allowed on the outside. Inside there are a lot of information texts. Small entrance fee required”.Joanne Lukasi
Read more of visitors’ comments about Cung An Dinh here before your visit: An Dinh Palace, Hue, Vietnam.
Visiting Hue? Don’t forget to check out these Hue tours for a better understanding of Hue’s history with a local guide.