This elegant French Residence is a prime example of 19th-century Indochina architecture, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in its rich history, explore lush gardens, and savor exquisite French culinary delights.
Embark on a digital journey through history
What makes this year’s European Heritage Days truly special is the introduction of an immersive digital experience. QR codes in three languages – Vietnamese, English, and French – will guide visitors on a captivating virtual tour, offering insights into the palace’s fascinating past and intriguing anecdotes.
In addition, visitors will receive postcards enhanced with augmented reality (AR) technology, allowing them to witness the mansion’s evolution over time.
A glimpse into a bygone era
Originally built in 1872 by Navy engineers, this French mansion stands as a testament to the architectural marvels of its time.
It shares its historical significance with other iconic landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City, including Norodom Palace (1868-73), known today as Reunification Palace, St. Joseph’s Seminary (1863), and Notre Dame Cathedral (1877-80). The only structure erected later was the Saigon Central Post Office, between 1886 and 1891.
Nestled in the heart of the historic downtown area, this mansion originally served as the residence of the governor of the colonial army.
Later, it housed the commander-in-chief of the French army in Cochinchina and, following 1954, became the French ambassador’s palace during the city’s old regime.
In 1975, it became the residence of the French consul general.
The mansion’s living room area, now used for events hosted by the French Consulate General, showcases a stunning collection of furniture from the Nguyen Dynasty (1802–1945) in Hue City.
The antique artifacts on display provide a glimpse into the decorative and spiritual art of Vietnam during the 19th and 20th centuries. One notable highlight is the exquisite lacquer painting titled ‘Dam Ruoc’ (The Procession), created in 1939 by renowned artist Nguyen Gia Tri.
Beyond its architectural grandeur, the French Consulate General Palace features a private park spanning over 1.5 hectares. This lush oasis is home to ancient trees, some dating back to the Tu Palace era, and serves as a sanctuary for a thriving ecosystem. Rare species of ferrets, squirrels, and birds have chosen to make this tranquil retreat their nesting grounds.
European Heritage Days: Celebrating culture and history
Originally initiated by France in 1984 under the auspices of the French Ministry of Culture, European Heritage Days offer the public a unique opportunity to explore sites typically closed to visitors due to their administrative, diplomatic, or economic functions. The event’s resounding success led the European Council to expand its reach to the entire European Union in 1985.
In 2000, the event was officially renamed ‘European Heritage Days.’
This year marks the 40th anniversary of European Heritage Days, with celebrations centered around the themes of ‘Living Heritage’ and ‘Sports Heritage.’
These festivities not only highlight the enduring appreciation for cultural and historical treasures, such as the French Palace in Ho Chi Minh City, but also underscore the profound impact of this event in preserving and showcasing our shared heritage.