Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum

Hanoi, Vietnam | C.1975

Photo Credit: Jun Tan

The Democratic Republic of Vietnam was born on September 2, 1945 when Communist Party President Hồ Chí Minh read the country’s Declaration of Independence to his constituents. Today, it is the revolutionary’s final resting place, a shrine to Vietnam’s beloved leader.

Construction began on September 2, 1973, and the Mausoleum, located in the center of Ba Dinh Square, was formally inaugurated on August 29, 1975. It was inspired by Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow but incorporates distinct Vietnamese architectural elements, such as the sloping roof.

The exterior is comprised of grey granite, while the interior is grey, black, and red polished stone. The Mausoleum’s portico has the words “Chủ tịch Hồ-Chí-Minh” (Chairman Ho Chi Minh) inscribed across it. The surrounding gardens contain nearly 250 different species of plants and flowers, all from different regions of Vietnam.

The embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh is preserved in the central hall of the mausoleum, which is protected by a military honor guard. The body lies in a glass case with dim lights and lines of visitors, including visiting foreign dignitaries.

Rules regarding dress and behavior are strictly enforced by staff and guards. Legs must be fully covered and visitors must be silent and walk in two lines. Hands must not be in pockets, nor arms crossed. Smoking, drinking, eating, photography, and video taping are not permitted anywhere inside the mausoleum.

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