Priceless 19th century house in disrepair hinh anh 1Wooden pillars have been destroyed by heat and humidity, and can collapse any time (Source:
Hanoi (VNA) - A 19th century communal house dedicated to Vietnamese people’s ancestors – the 18 Hung kings - in the northern province of Vinh Phuc is in poor condition.

Located in Dinh Chu Commune, Lap Thach District, the communal house was built in 1803 under the reign of King Gia Long (1762-1820). The house has five halls arranged in the shape of “J”. The central hall is reserved for the worship of the Hung kings, while the one at the back is dedicated to the village’s patron saint.

Decorated by various sculptures of the Nguyen Dynasty style, the house is considered an example of the architecture of the region’s communal houses in the 19th century.

“This is a heavily decorated house with some very beautiful carvings on wooden pillars and beams,” the English language daily Viet Nam News quoted researcher Nguyen Duc Binh, an official from the culture ministry, as saying.

“Some of the carvings are almost intact and priceless for historical research,” Binh said.

The communal house was listed among the national relic cultural and art sites in 1998, while it was still hosting gatherings and festivals of the local community.

With age and the ravages of time, the condition of the structure has seriously deteriorated. The roof has several holes, resulting in sunlight and rain entering the house. Wooden pillars have been destroyed by heat and humidity, and can collapse any time.

“Rain enters the house, flooding the halls,” Hoang Van Kiem, chairman of Dinh Chu Commune, said. “The local authorities have warned the local people not to approach the site for fear of its collapse. In the past few years, the site has been closed and cannot host the annual festival.”

Kiem said the provincial authorities approved a project in 2013 to upgrade the site at a cost of nearly 18.5 billion VND (822,200 USD). But the project never took off.

“We hope the project will be carried out soon to save the valued relic site,” he said.-VNA