Architecture in Vietnam shows a diversity in the style in which buildings are designed and constructed depending upon culture and the wealth of the time. Above, the Indochina French Administration building would be equally at home in France as it is in Hanoi.
Whilst on the banks of the Mekong thatch shanties on stilts are the architecture that is found.
The Romanesque architecture of the Saigon Notre Dame Basilica again shows a French Heritage. Indeed all the building materials required for the construction of the church were exported from France. Yes, all those little bricks came from France.
In its interior which can house a congregation of 1200, their are 12 pillars representing the apostles whilst the 52 stained glass windows depict stories from the bible. The windows are no longer the original ones due to breakages during the conflict.
Thatched huts with woven walls, also built on stilts are the homes of the Degar peoples in the Central highlands of Vietnam.
These buildings have incomplete flooring allowing for draughts to rise cooling the house and giving shade and shelter to pigs and chickens which live underneath.
Looking at the construction of a modern Vietnamese house I would not feel confident in its stability. They are usually very narrow, detached housing of three stories high. This will accomodate one family group. The youngest live on the upper level whilst their parents on the middle level. On the lower level are the grandparents. This arrangement is so the elderly do not have to negotiate stairs.
Wrought iron is often a feature and floors are tiles.
In the Vietnamese museum of ethnology are wonderful examples of ethnic tribal buildings.
The Tortoise tower of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi was built by a Vietnamese businessman with the French Colonial Government permission to honour Le Loi who founded the Le Dynasty. It is a symbol of peace, harmony and patriotism.
The Tam Thai Pagoda in the marble hillside of Da Nang. Its architecture follows the shape of the Chinese character meaning “king” which was typical of the architectural style of temples and pagodas under the Nguyen Dynasty.
In Hoi An the Japanese quarter shows yet another architectural style.
Vietnam, a land of contrasting architecure where often the old is sandwiched between the more recent.
In response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.