HCMC 2014

HCMC 2014

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Independence place
> designed by Ngô_Viết_Thụ
>it was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates.
>On May 7, 1954, France surrendered to the Việt Minh after its defeat at the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ. France agreed to sign the Geneva Accords and withdrew its troops from Vietnam. According to the accords, Vietnam would be divided for two years, until 1956. The 17th Parallel would act as the temporary border until a vote based on universal suffrage was held to establish a unified Vietnamese government. North Vietnam was under the control of the Việt Minh communists, while South Vietnam was under the anti-communist State of Vietnam.
>On 27 February 1962, two pilots of Diệm's Vietnam Air Force, Nguyễn Văn Cử and Phạm Phú Quốc, rebelled and flew two A-1 Skyraider (A-1D/AD-6 variant) aircraft towards the palace and bombed it, instead of going on a raid against the Việt Cộng. As a result, almost the entire left wing was destroyed. However, Diệm and his family escaped the assassination attempt. As it was almost impossible to restore the palace, Diệm ordered it demolished and commissioned a new building in its place.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall or Hôtel de Ville de Saïgon (Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Head office - Trụ sở Ủy ban Nhân dân Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh) was built in 1902-1908 in a French colonial style for the then city of Saigon. It was renamed after 1975 as Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee. Illuminated at night, the building is not opened to the public or for tourists. A statue of the namesake is found in park next to the building.

The Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon Opera House (Vietnamese: Nhà hát lớn Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh; French: Opėra de Saigon), is an opera house in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It is an example of French Colonial architecture in Vietnam.

Built in 1897 by French architect Eugène Ferret as the Opėra de Saigon, the 800 seat building was used as the home of the Lower House assembly of South Vietnam after 1956. It was not until 1975 that it was again used as a theatre, and restored in 1995.

Architecture[edit]

Façade of the Petit Palais in Paris
The Municipal Theatre is a smaller counterpart of the Hanoi Opera House, which was built between 1901 and 1911, and shaped like the Opéra Garnier in Paris. The Municipal Theatre owes its specific characteristics to the work of architect Félix Olivier, while construction was under supervision of architects Ernest Guichard and Eugène Ferret in 1900.


Lam Son Park, Saigon in 1960s, with Saigon Opera House in background

The Municipal Theatre in 1915
Its architectural style is influenced by the flamboyant style of the French Third Republic, with the façade shaped like the Petit Palais which was built in the same year in France. The house had a main seating floor plus two levels of seating above, and was capable of accommodating 1,800 people. The design of all the inscriptions, décor, and furnishings were drawn by a French artist and sent from France.

In accordance with the style employed, the façade of the theatre was decorated with inscription and reliefs (like the Ho Chi Minh City Hall), but it was criticized as being too ornate. In 1943 some of this decoration was removed, but a portion was restored by the city government for the 300th anniversary of Saigon in 1998.

History[edit]
After the invasion of Cochinchina, in 1863 French colonists invited a theatre company to Saigon to perform for the French legion in the villa of the French admiral at the Clock Square (Place de l'Horloge) (presently the corner of Nguyen Du and Dong Khoi streets). After a short time, a temporary theatre was built at the site of what is now the Caravelle Hotel. In 1898, the construction of the new theatre commenced on the site of the old one, and it was completed by 1 January 1900.

Between World War I and World War II, all costs of mobilization and demobilization as well as other costs for the theatre companies from France to Saigon were paid by the municipal government. Despite the fact that the theatre was planned as an entertainment venue for the growing middle class, its audience declined as more and more night clubs and dance halls boomed in the city. During this period, performances were presented only occasionally, some being concerts and others cai luong programs.

Following criticisms of the theatre's façade and the high costs of organizing performances, the municipal government intended to turn the theatre into a concert hall (Salle de Concert), but this was never carried out. Instead, decorations, engravings and statues were removed from the theatre façade in 1943 to make the theatre look more youthful. In 1944, the theatre was damaged by the Allied aerial attacks against Japanese Imperial Army, and the theatre stopped functioning. As Japan surrendered to the Allied forces, France returned to Cochinchina. In 1954, the French army surrendered to Viet Minh during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu which led to the Geneva Accords in the same year. The theatre was then used as a temporary shelter for French civilians arriving from North Vietnam.

In 1955, the theatre was restored as the seat of the Lower House of the State of Vietnam, then the Republic of Vietnam. After the Fall of Saigon in 1975, the building was restored to its original function as a theatre. In 1998, on the occasion of 300th anniversary of the founding of Saigon, the municipal government had the theatre façade restored.





Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica (Vietnamese: Vương cung thánh đường Đức Bà Sài Gòn or Nhà thờ Đức Bà Sài Gòn, French: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saïgon), officially Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception (Vietnamese: Vương cung thánh đường Chính tòa Đức Mẹ Vô nhiễm Nguyên tội) is a cathedral located in the downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Established by French colonists, the cathedral was constructed between 1863 and 1880. It has two bell towers, reaching a height of 58 meters (190 feet).

Contents  [hide]
1 History
2 The statue’s tears
3 Status as a basilica
4 Special characteristics
5 See also
History[edit]

View of the interior.

Side view of the basilica.

Side transept

Closer view of the facade

Main gate of the basilica.
Following the French conquest of Cochinchina and Saigon, the Roman Catholic Church established a community and religious services for French colonialists. The first church was built on today's Ngo Duc Ke Street. There had been a Vietnamese pagoda, which had been abandoned during the war. Bishop Lefevre decided to make this pagoda a church.

The last church was too small. Thus, in 1863, Admiral Bonard decided to build a wooden church on the bank of Charner canal (Kinh Lớn). Lefevre put the first stone for construction of the church on 28 March 1863. The construction was completed two years later and was called "Saigon Church". When the wooden church was damaged by termites, all church services were held in the guest-chamber of the French Governor's Palace. This palace would later be turned into a seminary until the Notre-Dame Cathedral was completed.

After the design competition, bids were accepted for construction. Again, J. Bourard was the successful bidder and became supervisor of constructions.

Originally, there were three proposed sites for construction:

On the site of the former test school (today, this is at the corner of Le Duan Boulevard and Hai Ba Trung Street).
At Kinh Lon (today it is Nguyễn Huệ Boulevard)
At the present site where the cathedral is situated.
All building materials were imported from France. The outside wall of the cathedral was built with bricks from Marseille. Although the contractor did not use coated concrete, these bricks have retained their bright red color until today.

On 7 October 1877, Bishop Isidore Colombert laid the first stone in an inaugural ceremony. The construction of the cathedral took three years. On Easter Day, 11 April 1880, a blessing ceremony and ceremony of completion were solemnly organized in presence of the Governor of Cochinchina Charles Le Myre de Vilers. One can see the granite plate inside the main entry gate commemorating the start and completion dates and designer. The total cost was 2,500,000 French francs (at that time price). At the beginning, the cathedral was called State Cathedral due to the source of the construction funds.

In 1895, two bell towers were added to the cathedral, each 57.6 m high with six bronze bells with the total weight of 28.85 metric tonnes. The crosses were installed on the top of each tower of 3.5 m high, 2 m wide, 600 kg in weight. The total height of the cathedral to the top of the Cross is 60.5 m.

In the flower garden in front of the cathedral, there was a bronze statue of Pigneau de Behaine (also called Bishop of Adran) leading Prince Cảnh, the son of Emperor Gia Long by his right hand. The statue was made in France. In 1945, the statue was removed, but the foundation remains.

In 1959, Bishop Joseph Pham Van Thien, whose jurisdiction included Saigon parish, attended the Marian Congress held in Vatican and ordered a statue of Our Lady of Peace made with granite in Rome. When the statue arrived in Saigon on 16 February 1959, Bishop Pham Van Thien held a ceremony to install the statue on the empty base and presented the title of "Regina Pacis". It was the same bishop who wrote the prayers "Notre-Dame bless the peace to Vietnam". The next day, Cardinal Aganianian came from Rome to chair the closing ceremony of the Marian Congress and solemnly chaired the ceremony for the statue, thus the cathedral was then-on called Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The statue’s tears[edit]
During October 2005, the statue was reported to have shed tears, attracting thousands of people and forcing authorities to stop traffic around the Cathedral. However, the top clergy of the Catholic Church in Vietnam confirmed that the Virgin Mary statue in front of a cathedral did not shed tears, which nevertheless failed to disperse the crowd flocking to the statue days after the incident. The reported 'tear' flowed down the right cheek of the face of the statue.

Status as a basilica[edit]
In 1960, Pope John XXIII erected Roman Catholic dioceses in Vietnam and assigned archbishops to Hanoi, Huế and Saigon. The cathedral was titled Saigon Chief Cathedral. In 1962, Pope John XXIII anointed the Saigon Chief Cathedral, and conferred it the status of a basilica. From this time, this cathedral was called Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica.

Special characteristics[edit]
All the original building materials were imported from France. Tiles have been carved with the words Guichard Carvin, Marseille St André France (perhaps stating the locality where the tiles were produced). Some tiles are carved with the words “Wang-Tai Saigon”. Many tiles have since been made in Ho Chi Minh City to replace the tiles that were damaged by the war. There are 56 glass squares supplied by the Lorin firm of Chartres province in France. The cathedral foundation was designed to bear ten times the weight of the cathedral.

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