Location: 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; inside the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden at the same address.
Opening hours and Admission fee of the Hung King Temple:
If visitors would like to see the temple from outside and walk around the garden, they do not need to pay an admission fee. Because Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden opens from 7:00 to 18:30, visitors should come to the temple between 7:00 and 18:30.
If visitors would like to go inside the temple, they must visit the temple from 8:00 to 11:30, from 13:00 to 17:00 on 1st, 15th & 30th of the lunar months. The entrance fee is VND 30,000 and the ticket should be bought at the ticket booth in Museum of Vietnamese History in Ho Chi Minh City which is at the opposite of the Hung King Temple.
Located at 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, The Hung King Temple was designed by the architect Auguste Delaval and built between 1927 and 1929. The temple was named as Temple du Souvenir Annamite which means Annamite Temple of remembrance and primarily to honor the memory of at least 12,000 Vietnamese soldiers who fount and died in French armed forces during the World War I of 1914 – 1918.
In 1955, the temple was renamed National Hung King Ancestor Temple and rededicated to the memory of the Hung Dynasty – the legendary Vietnamese rulers of the Hong Bang period. After the reunification, the memorial stele was removed.
Temple du Souvenir Annamite was built of masonry around a wooden frame and supported by 12 wooden pillars, each of which represents a sign of the zodiac. It was described as “a place where the great figures of history, the mandarin benefactors of the people, the writers of talent and the dead of the Great War will be combined in a single official cult” by Le Progrès Annamite newspaper on 1st January 1929. Designed in the typical style of tombs of Nguyen Kings in Hue City and pure Annamite style, the temple has dragons flanked the stone steps, three-layered curved roof decorated with dragons and phoenixes, interior decorated with sculptural motifs bringing cranes, unicorns, turtles, phoenixes, and dragons.
Today, the Hung King Shrine was placed in the center of the temple. A set of eight bronze-tipped weapons, a gong, a drum, two replica Dong Don drums, and a model of the main Hung King Temple in Phu Tho Province in North Vietnam are highlights of the temple. In the center of the temple was placed a marble stele with names of Le Van Duyet, Phan Thanh Giang, and many more names of Annamites who died in the fight.
Every year, on the 10th March of the lunar calendar, the official Hung King Ancestors Festival of Ho Chi Minh City is held solemnly at the National Hung King Ancestor Temple. The festival gives thanks to the Hung dynasty for its contribution to the Vietnamese nation.
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