The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a grand monument to the revered Vietnamese leader situated at the centre of Hanoi’s Ba Dinh Square. This is the location where Ho Chi Minh inaugurated the Democratic Republic of Vietnam by reading out the Declaration of Independence in 1945.
The mausoleum may be said to have been inspired by Lenin’s Mausoleum in the city of Moscow, but features several distinctively Vietnamese design aspects, notably the angled roof. The interior of the mausoleum is finished in black, grey and red stone polished to perfection. The building’s exterior is fashioned in imposing grey granite.
The austerely magnificent structure is adjoined by two platforms, each with 7 steps for viewing parades. The gardens in the mausoleum complex contain close to 250 different types of flowers and plants, sourced from numerous areas of Vietnam. The large plaza situated facing the mausoleum is arranged into 240 squares of greenery with numerous pathways.
The body of Ho Chi Minh rests in the mausoleum’s air-conditioned central hall in a glass container, clearly visible even in the dim lighting; it is obvious that the remains of the Vietnamese leader are perfectly preserved. A military honour guard has been designated for the site, showing the veneration accorded to the late leader. Many foreign visitors including dignitaries of note regularly pay their respects at the site.
The impressive proportions of the mausoleum stand in stark contrast to the modest stilt house where Ho Chi Minh worked and lived. Constructed to resemble ethnic minority houses, the simple dwelling still exudes a sense of calm and purpose. Visitors may look through the windows of the building to catch a glimpse of the Vietnamese leader’s modestly appointed abode and few personal belongings.
Interestingly Ho Chi Minh did not request to be preserved for all eternity after his death; it was his wish to be cremated and his ashes scattered on the hills of Vietnam. However the powers that be thought otherwise, taking great pains to preserve perfectly the body of the deceased leader. Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum stands as a fitting memorial to the nation’s greatest leader.
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Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.