Ho Chi Minh/ Reunification Palace

Ho Chi Minh/ Reunification Palace
The Original Norodom Palace (Source: http://www.saigondistricts.com/place/the-reunification-palace/)
The Original Norodom Palace (Source: http://www.saigondistricts.com/place/the-reunification-palace/)
The Original Norodom Palace (Source: http://www.saigondistricts.com/place/the-reunification-palace/)
The Current Reunification Palace (Source: http://www.saigondistricts.com/place/the-reunification-palace/)
The Current Reunification Palace (Source: http://www.saigondistricts.com/place/the-reunification-palace/)

The Reunification Palace was another important building within Saigon located in District 1, which is the center of Ho Chi Minh City.

It was originally built in the colonial era, which was used by the French Governor of Cochinchina. It was called Norodom Palace, also known as the Governor’s Palace. It was handed over to South Vietnam when the French gave up Vietnam. It had become the official residence of the President of South Vietnam.

It was bombed and partly destroyed by Vietnamese Nationalist Party supporters. It was then rebuilt as the Independence Palace by a Vietnamese architect called Ngô Viết Thụ who was the winner of First Grand Prize of Rome In 1955.

The Vietnam War officially ended and Vietnam was reunified at this particular place as the last president of South Vietnam surrendered at this location. North Vietnamese Army did not accept the surrender and actually broke into the gates of the palace to end the war.

The Independence Palace was then renamed as Reunification Palace after North Vietnam reunified Vietnam.

Its importance of symbol of power was reflected by its name and function. As it is once the building for accommodation and administration of the person with the highest power in the Country. The renaming of the palace from Norodom Palace to the Independence Palace symbolizes Vietnam is finally free from the colonial control of French. It was then renamed to Reunification Palace when Vietnam is reunified to symbolize the reunification of Vietnam. A building with such symbol is also a target for attack as it was bombed a few times during Vietnam War and eventually the place that ended the Vietnam War, the place where the President of South Vietnam surrendered his power.

2 Comments on “Ho Chi Minh/ Reunification Palace

  1. It seems the building has an interesting historical meaning since it experience several handover of power of the country among different parties. May I know more about the relationship between its Architectural style and power that taking over it? I believed that it will be quite essential since the clash of civilization and ideology happens here twice 🙂

  2. In the colonial era of Saigon, Norodom Palace was built by Georges l’Hermitte, in Neo-Baroque Style. This symbolizes the colonial control of France over Saigon, as a grand building in western style is built right in the center of Saigon.

    After the old palace was demolished, it was rebuilt as the Independence Palace. The Architect claims that the concept of the building is derived from eastern philosophy, as well as trying to combine eastern and western styles. The Architect tries to relate the form of Chinese characters with different elements of the building. For example, the ground plan is in T-Shape, which is similar to the form of the Chinese character “吉”, which means good luck. The new palace symbolizes the inclusion of eastern elements in the city, that the Vietnamese “eastern power” finally takes over the city, which was strongly influenced by western powers. The new building did pay respect the history of the city by retaining the Southeast gatehouse, which was the original gatehouse of the old Norodom Palace.

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