Guidebook Gaze at the gorgeous Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh

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Gaze at the gorgeous Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh

“The interior is a true feast for the eyes,” writes The Road to Anywhere, “and I found that I wandered around in silence with my mouth wide open.” What sets Khai Dinh’s tomb apart is its “architectural fusion of Chinese, Vietnamese, and European Gothic elements,” says Atlas Obscura -- “fierce dragons guarding the steps, stone elephants and warriors outside, and finally, massive wrought iron gates at the entrance.” The inside of the tomb contains some of the Emperor’s personal effects and gifts, “as well as incredibly intricate patterns of ceramic and glass decorating the walls.”

Emperor Khai Dinh raised taxes by 30 per cent to finance his mausoleum, explains Fox Travels, “which drove his unpopularity with the Vietnamese people to a peak.” The emperor ordered the tomb to combine “traditional Asian style elements with European architecture,” and it took 11 years, from 1920 to 1931, to build. The tomb is “an emerging rectangular structure with 127 steps leaning against the mountain,” the side walls are “built in the likeness of dragons and are reputed to be “the largest dragon sculptures in Vietnam.”

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