125 year old house retains old glory | VIETNAM | TRAVEL 247

125 year old house retains old glory | VIETNAM | TRAVEL 247


A house, built predominantly of wood by a governor in Tay Ninh town in 1894, retains the original architecture to this day. In 2017 it was classified as a provincial architectural art relic. Nguyen Tam Kien (1854 – 1914), who built this place. Tran Ngoc Suong, 85, takes care of the house at 39 Phan Chau Trinh Street in Tay Ninh, two hours northwest of Saigon. Suong said: “He was a native of central Vietnam and was sent to the south by the court of Hue (imperial citadel) to serve as the governor, an important post during the French colonial period. The structure remains intact, so do the furniture and dishware.” Typical ancient houses have no floors, but this one has a large, airy mezzanine. Every little detail like railing, stairs, walls have elaborate carvings. Suong said: “The mezzanine is the main living place of the family. Some family members left for work elsewhere, so only I and my son’s family live here.” “This painting hung in the corner of the house before I was born,” Suong said. There are a typewriter, telephone and gramophone, which were often found in the homes of affluent families during the French colonial period. A porcelain lamp in the century-old altar of the governor. One side of the house is covered with a trellis. Suong said: “During weekends our house gets many visitors: young people take wedding photos here, there are also film crews coming here to shoot. We are always happy when people visit.”

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