Gia Long Tomb (also called Thien Tho Tomb) is the tomb of Emperor Gia Long (1762 – 1820) – the founder of Nguyen Dynasty which was recognized as one of UNESCO World Heritages. In fact, the Tomb is considered a complex including many other tombs of the King’s relatives.
The Tomb was built from 1814 to 1820 on a mountainous area with 42 hills and mountains in total in Huong Tho village, Huong Tra district, about 18 km from Perfume river. The biggest mountain called Dai Thien Tho is chosen to be the name of this mountainous area.

L. Cadiere suggested 60 years ago that tourists should visit Gia Long tomb in the afternoon because that’s the time when the light of the sunset is reflected on the river, combined with the peaceful of the quite pine forest. Not until witnessing this scene can tourists imagine the majestic but lonely beauty of this place.

Gia Long Tomb

Gia Long Tomb

Architecture
Gia Long tomb is a perfect picture in terms of combination between nature and architecture, between the two, nature is the key factor contributing to the splendid beauty of the sight. Unlike tombs of other kings, in Gia Long tomb, there’s no sophisticated buildings or glorious palaces; there’s only nature with endless mountains and pine forest which enable the very first king of Nguyen Dynasty to rest in a romantic and peaceful atmosphere.
There are three main areas of the complex including the middle, the right and the left. Gia Long Emperor and his Empress Thua Thien Cao were adored in the middle area. Passing the court yard with lines of impressive steles and the seven-level honor yard, tourists can reach Buu Thanh containing two stone tombs representing the happiness and faithfulness on the top of the hill. On the right stands Minh Thanh Temple which worships the King and his first wife and some of Gia Long’s belongings related to his wartime such as belt, hat and saddle. The left area is Bi Dinh area, there’s nothing left here but a large stele exquisitely engraved scripts of Minh Mang Emperor to praise his father.

The entrance way to Gia Long Tomb

The terrace to Gia Long Tomb