Ho Chi Minh was recognized by UNESCO as the one who “devoted his whole life to the national liberation of the Vietnamese people”. In honor of the President’s gratitude, the Government had the Ho Chi Minh Complex established inside capital Hanoi after he was passed away. Built in Ngoc Ha village, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi city, Ho Chi Minh Complex consists of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ba Dinh Square, Presidential Palace, Old-aged House of Ho Chi Minh, a Museum of Ho Chi Minh and an One Pillar Pagoda. The complex is among top 10 things to see in Hanoi for Hanoi visitors to study about Ho Chi Minh’s life time and to be in memory of this Great President of the Vietnamese.
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (or Lang Chu tich Ho Chi Minh) is a large memorial in Hanoi, Vietnam. Located in the center of Ba Dinh Square (the place where the great leader of the Vietnamese Ho Chi Minh read the country’s Independence Declaration on September 2nd, 1945; establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam), the Mausoleum was built to preserve the body of Ho Chi Minh.
The materials that constitute the building, from exterior granite to interior wood, were contributed by people from all over the country. Even the garden that surrounded the Mausoleum has a collection of plants and bonsais donated from all regions in Vietnam. This shows the Vietnamese’s wish to forever keep their dear father/grandfather company.
Ba Dinh square, where Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum lies, is a historical site where President Ho Chi Minh read the Independence Declaration of Vietnam on September 2nd, 1945 to establish the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. It was originally the western gate of the ancient Hanoi citadel. Under the French colony, the wall was destroyed to build a small flower garden named Pugininer, and renamed Ba Dinh Square in 1945 to commemorate the uprising against the French colonialists in Ba Dinh, Thanh Hoa province from 1886-1887. The square’s significant role also derives from its national largest size, containing up to 200,000 people, with 168 sq. meters of green and fresh grass. Not only is it meaningful to Hanoians but the whole nation’s people as well.
From 1901-1906, the palace was built by the French colonialists, as a palace of the General Indochina Governor. It has a special typical French structure and architecture. Since 1954, the Vietnamese Government took over this Palace to house the President. Yet, he refused, thus it has been used as the Presidential Palace for high-ranking level diplomatic meetings since then.
House of Ho Chi Minh
Refusing to live in the Presidential Palace, President Ho Chi Minh lived in a normal electrician’s house nearby. The Government had a simple and nature-oriented environment constructed for him to live and work. Walking around, visitors can feel his simple and pure lifestyle in an wooden tiled house on stilt (of the Ethnic minority group’s style), surrounded by a gardens full of fruit trees and a peaceful fishpond.
The One-Pillar Pagoda within the complex (behind the Mausoleum and in front of the Ho Chi Minh museum) is an ancient one built in 1049 under the Ly Dynasty. There’s an interesting legend referring the construction of the pagoda, telling that King Ly Thanh Tong had this pagoda constructed in the shape of a lotus, based upon his fairy dream, thanks to which he was given a son.
The Museum of Ho Chi Minh is located on an area of the historical Ba Dinh Square, the last spot in Ho Chi Minh complex. The museum was built in the shape of a white lotus flower. It was commenced in August 1985 and inaugurated on May 19th 1990 right on the birth centenary anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh.
This huge concrete museum is a triumphalist monument dedicated to the life of the founder of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh and to the onward march of revolutionary socialism. Visitors can see lots of mementos of Ho Chi Minh & his revolution here.