After abdicating the throne, the last king of Vietnam – Bao Dai – asked to keep An Dinh Palace, which was built by his father – Emperor Khai Dinh – outside the Hue royal citadel, as the home of his family.

An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King

Located by the bank of An Cuu canal, An Dinh palace used to be the private residence of Nguyen Phuc Buu Dao (later the king Khai Dinh). This construction was renovated in modern style between 1917-1919 and officially became the residence of the crown-prince Vinh Thuy (later Bao Dai king).

An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King

After the Vietnamese liberation movement had forced his abdication in 1945, Bao Dai moved from the Imperial City to the An Dinh Palace with his mother Tu Cung, his wife and his children. Later, he settled permanently in Paris and his mother alone remained at the palace until the Southern contemporary government of Ngo Dinh Diem seized the palace after 1954. The former Queen Mother had to move and lived at the nearby smaller building until she died in 1980 without ever seeing Bao Dai again.

An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King

An Dinh palace is well-known by the beauty of sophisticated decoration at Khai Tuong pavilion. This three-storey building was constructed in European style by modern materials. Especially, the wall paintings at the first floor are seen as remarkable western style paintings survived in Vietnam from the early decades of XXth century. Ornamental motifs in the innermost rooms are lavish and opulent yet become more dainty and floral on the periphery. After many changes of function and interior design happened during and after the war, the building was seriously damaged, especially the interior decoration was covered by many different layers of new painting.

An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King

Hue Monuments Conservation Center (HMCC) had restored the palace facade and grounds in 2002 and also supported the restoration of its interiors. Two German non-profit associations directed the project at different phases, from 2003–2008. The association ‘East meets West’ (Ost trifft West e. V) supported an exhibition about the project, shown during the Hué Cultural Festival 2008. On-site work and the training scheme for fifteen local Vietnamese artists and artisans selected on merit were carried out under the aegis of the German Conservation, Restoration and Education Projects (GCREP) team, led by Chief Restorer and Project Manager, Ms. Andrea Teufel.

An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King

The conservation and restoration of the wall and ceiling paintings at the An Dinh Palace was funded in the framework of the Cultural Preservation Programme maintained by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. The German Embassy in Hanoi steered and monitored the project. The trainees were gradually introduced to practical and theoretical aspects of conservation and restoration and proved indispensable to the success of the project.

An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King

The conservation and restoration of the An Dinh Palace were carried out strictly to UNESCO standards, in compliance with the internationally ratified Venice Charter – which is by no means a matter of course in Vietnam.
An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King
An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King
An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last KingAn Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King An Dinh Palace Hue, Inside The Palace Of Vietnam’s Last King

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