The fact you’ll be able to see numerous buildings dating from colonial times all across Vietnam speaks enough about the influence of glorious French colonial style on the Vietnamese architecture. Even though not all of the buildings have succeeded to keep their original appearance, a number of them were beautifully renovated, without having their authentic beauty taken away.
Some of the places in the country that have kept this charming French spirit for all this time are Hanoi and Dalat, and in this post, we’re showing you some of the most beautiful buildings with the obvious colonial influence, as the rare positive sides of the French presence in Vietnam through the history.
National Museum of Vietnamese History, Hanoi
One of the main representatives of the French influence on Vietnamese architecture, the building of National Museum of Vietnamese History, that was built in the first half of the 20th century, originally was the home to the École Française d’Extrême Orient.
The creator of this architectural masterpiece was Ernest Hebrard, who was known for combining Vietnamese architecture with French and Chinese elements. Nowadays, this building is home to the imperial Vietnamese jewelry, Hindu statues from Khmer and Champa kingdoms, bronzes from the Dong Son culture and various displays.
Hoa Lo Prison Museum, Hanoi
The majority of displays in this museum are related to its former function –this intriguing building was a prison during the Vietnamese struggle for independence from France, which means that here you may find a significant number of items used during the war.
Ironically, the French guillotine which was the means of beheading the Vietnamese revolutionaries during the American War is not the only witness of the French presence in Vietnam through the history – the entire building was built by the French, at the end of the 19th century.
Opera House, Hanoi
This imposing building equipped with 900 seats was built in the beginning of the 20th century and it is pretty popular among the local people. Because of its romantic exterior, it is one of the favorite places for romantic photographs. That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised to see numerous Hanoi wedding couples taking pictures right in front of this magnificent colonial monument.
Railway Station, Dalat
This charming colonial building won’t only impress you with its exterior that features the amazing three roofs that represent the three peaks of Lang Biang mountain in Dalat, stunning windows made of multicolored glass and an incredibly large clock right under the central roof, but also with its interior with raised ceiling and two rows of imposing twelve columns. The Dalat Railway Station was built in the first half of the 20th century by French architects Moncet and Reveron.
The Dalat Palace
This mindblowing building was built and opened in the first half of the 20th century, as an obvious symbol of the colonial luxury and monumentalism, witnessing the French domination.
From the very beginning, it has represented a spectacular hotel with breathtaking features such as 38 luxury rooms, a majestic dance hall, a cinema, tennis courts and riding facilities, private fruit and vegetable gardens, and, of course, a French restaurant. This colonial masterpiece still represents a spectacular high-end tourism hotspot.