Hoang A Tuong Mansion in Bac Ha white plateau hinh anh 1Ancient palace of Hoang A Tuong is one of the interesting destinations in Bac Ha (Lao Cai). (Photo: P. Mai/Vietnam +)

Great size, unique features in architecture (combining East and West styles) together with thrilling stories about the owner of the house, traces of human life in the mountainous area of Bac Ha (Lao Cai) during the semi-feudal colonial period, the ancient palace Hoang A Tuong became an attractive destination at the white plateau.

The most luxurious mansion of its time

Over a century of existence, Hoang A Tuong mansion looks old and ancient. The color of time is tinted on each tile, corridor, pillar and mossy old wall ...

Mr. Lam Van Thang, representative of the Lao Cai Tourism Information and Promotion Center, said this project was built in the period from 1914-1921. This is both a residence and a workplace for Hoang Yen Tchao and Hoang A Tuong (Tay ethnic group).

“The Tày people have a custom of naming a house after the name of their son who lives with their parents in adulthood. Therefore, this project is called Hoang A Tuong mansion, ”said Mr. Lam Van Thang.

The total area of the building is up to 10,000m2, surrounded by walls with ways for guards to patrol.

Hoang A Tuong Mansion in Bac Ha white plateau hinh anh 2Traces of time in the old mansion. (Photo: Vietnam +)

According to Mr. Thang, the process of preparation and construction of this project took place meticulously. It has the prime location and its architecture also makes visitors surprised. “It is a delicate combination between Asian and European architectural styles, showing the clear East-West cultural interference. The work was designed and supervised by two architects from different cultures, France and China” said the representative of the Lao Cai Tourism Information and Promotion Center.

Hoang A Tuong Mansion in Bac Ha white plateau hinh anh 3Main building of the mansion (Photo: Vietnam+)

The column and roof system is covered in vines, leaf and laurel motifs symbolizing prosperity, and happiness. The arched door system and the bow-shaped staircase create an impression of innovation and superficiality for the project.

The villa has a continuous rectangular layout with a total of 36 rooms, behind is an escape tunnel system.

Hoang A Tuong Mansion in Bac Ha white plateau hinh anh 4Decorations inside the mansion. (Photo: Vietnam +)

The house of power

“Materials such as bricks and tiles were produced by the best craftsmen in the region and from China on the spot. In addition, iron, steel and cement were transported from the plains. Therefore, the luxury of the building reflects the golden age of the father and son of Hoang Yen Tchao and Hoang A Tuong. It also reflects the hard, painful and oppressive life of many people in the border region,” said Mr. Lam Van Thang.

Ethnological doctor Nguyen Huu Son said that the ancient palace Hoang A Tuong was a "witness" to history, memorizing the life of the people of Bac Ha white plateau in the first half of the 20th century.

Hoang A Tuong Mansion in Bac Ha white plateau hinh anh 5The tiled roof is tinged with time. (Photo: Vietnam +)

On June 11, 1999, the Ministry of Culture and Information (now the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) recognized the ancient palace of Hoang A Tuong as a national relic site.

Mr. Lam Van Thang said to attract tourists to this unique place, Bac Ha district in particular and Lao Cai province in general have often organized many cultural and arts events, such as photo exhibitions and historical contests in the mansion space.

In addition, to meet travel demand and visitors’ wish to experience the mansion online, the relic site now provides QR code for them to learn about information, history and architecture of the building.

Hoang A Tuong Mansion in Bac Ha white plateau hinh anh 6Currently, the ancient palace Hoang A Tuong is home to many photo exhibitions, cultural and arts events. (Photo: Vietnam +)
VNA