Tu Duc Tomb is about 7 kilometers away from the city center. People normally choose between Tu Duc tomb and Minh Mang Tomb for they have the same architectural design. Most people prefer to visit Minh Mang tomb for it seemingly looks grandeur than Tu Duc Tomb.
==>Read more: Minh Mang tomb
The tomb was carefully planned by Emperor Tu Duc, who was the fourth emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam and reigned from 1847–1883, the longest reign in Nguyen dynasty.Major parts and buildings in Tu Duc tomb have been built even before his death, thus, Emperor Tu Duc used it as a retreat area. And later after the coup because of unjust taxation in 1866, Tu Duc continued to use the tomb’s palace as residence.
( Tu Duc tomb – Hue travel guide)
The 12 hectares Tu Duc tomb area is surrounded by a thick wall. Thus, the emperor felt safe in wondering within the area. There are several activities that can be done in the area. An island in the middle of the lake, Tinh Kiem Island, made it possible for the emperor to paddle a boat to the island and relax and even set a small hunting game. The Xung Kiem Pavilion allowed Emperor Tu Duc to compose and/or recite poetry while looking at the wonderful of the Tinh Kiem Island and a glimpse of the tomb’s palace building. The boat can dock at Du Kiem Pavilion for the emperor to walk back to the tomb’s palace building.
( Tu Duc front view – hue travel guide)
The tomb is special for where the body of the fifth emperor Kien Phuc, the adoptive son of Emperor Tu Duc, after his death in 1833. Emperor Kien Phuc reigned for only seven months and was not able to build any tomb himself thus he was buried next to his father and Empress Le Thien Anh, Emperor Tu Duc’s primary wife.
This stele where the emperor’s epitaph is written is the largest of its type in Vietnam, and it took four years trip to get the stele from the quarrying site over 500 kilometers away.
An excavation was done and found no bones and treasures on the tomb. It is believed that to keep the secrecy of the real tomb of the king, 200 laborers who buried the king were all beheaded after they returned from the secret location. Until now, the real tombs of Emperor Tu Duc and so with some of the other emperors are still hidden.