Famous architecture edifices in Da Lat
July 29th 2014.
Presidential Palace – Bourgery Palace, usually called Palace I
The Palace was built before 1940s by Bourgery, millionaire and owner of Shanghai power a station. Afterwards, Bourgery sold it to a French official and Bao Dai bought it to use as his office during his tenure as Chief of State while living in Da Lat. During the former regime of the Republic of Vietnam, the Palace became the residence and working place of national leaders in Da Lat, hence the name of Presidential Palace.
The Palace was designed following the architecture of the Savoie region of France, carrying luxurious appearance of a castle. The whole building was built on a relatively flat hilltop in a beautiful green campus in great harmony with the other works such as a servant’s house, wine cellar, poo to hold parties, and have fun. Like other large edifices, the Presidential Palace had a very broad basement and many exit ways along the tunnel leading to the ouside. The Palace is located close to Hung Wong road leading to Trai Mat, ward 11, 大叻.
Governor – General Decoux’s Palace, or Palace II in short
The Palace is located on the top of Tran Hung Dao street, on a high hill, the front looking over Xuan Huong lake – the heart of the city. Governor General Decoux’s Palace was designed by the French architects A.Leonard, P.Veyssere and ATKruze and built by a contractor in Sa Dec and completed in 1937. The Palace has the appearance of an architecture combined harmoniously between classic and modern elements. With a dual goal of residence, work and a reception area, so the large rooms on the ground floor are arranged around a hall and made up an entirely wide open, luxurious space but they do not break its cozy atmosphere inside the building.
The Palace has doors downstairs and a separate exit way upstairs. In addition, the palace also has a tunnel on ground floor for the owner to get out of the building is case of emergency. This is the common feature of the edifices, especially when the owner is the ruling officer, who is always watchful againts uprisings of the indigenous people. The Palace was formerly residence of the French governors-general, including Decoux. Decoux stayed in his office and was the last governor-general in the French protectorate regime, therefore, the local people often called it Governor-General Decoux’s palace.
Bao Dai Palace, or Palace III in short
Palace III is situated on a high hill of Ai An forest, 2 km from the city center of Da Lat to the southwest. Construction started in 1939 and completed in 1943. Palace ill is built according to the design blueprints of architect Nguyen Van Ninh-who had graduated with honors from the College of Indochinese Fine Arts and was a royal architect working in the Ministry of Administration in Hue mperial court. According to architect Nguyen Van Ninh at that time, this edifice must be “a unique, grandiose and modern architecture (unlike any existing villas), in great harmony with the spatial structure, corresponding to the position of the owner, so skillfully combining Asian and European, Vietnamese French architecture, consistent with the climate here, cool in summer, warm in winter, along with natural scenery of flowers, birds and fragrant air of spring and autumn; comfortable gorgeous, classy but not fussy and cozy interior approach”.
Palace III consists of two floors carrying European-style architecture and is arranged in an open campus with beautifully harmonious arrangements, as well as skillful shapes of the flower beds in the front space. The Hall and the promenade back yard are imbued with the majestic power of a private residential palace an imperial palace. The entire building from the outside to the inside is painted yellow. When stepping inside, people are really amazed by the harmonious arrangement of the interior rooms, despite the modern Western, still retaining pure Viet Nam’s features.
The Mayor’s Palace
The Palace was built on the highest hill of the city, behind the center of Hoa Binh square, at the end of Ly Tu Trong street. In 1907 this place was the chief military camp: in 1917 it was restored to be the mayor’s Palace. This is the residence and working place of the envoys and ministers under the French colonization and the mayors of the former regime.
The Mayor’s Palace is designed in the style of the classic European edifices. It was built in square blocks. The Mayor’s Palace had two floors and a ground floor used as a cellar… The palace facade is arranged to have staircases on both sides to the 1st floor and 2nd floor. The backside of the building has roofs and the motorway for cars. There are spacious ways with steps leading to the first floor the Mayor’s residence and working place. Behind the palace there are two sub-blocks used as shelters for maids and servants. Next to the sub-blocks are two water reservoirs to supply water to the city center. Over the decades with many ups and downs in the history, these edifices maintain their old architectural structure with ancient charismatic beauty that attract people(although the interior layout has dramatically changed every time they got new owners). We think in future time if we can restore the status quo for the interior of these edifices, especially the exit tunnel to put into put into services, surely these edifices will become one of the most attractive tourists attractions in Da Lat
By Doan Bich Ngo