It is impossible not to mention the People’s Committee Building when referring to the famous architectural works in Ho Chi Minh City. As the highlight of the city centre, the building is a famous ancient architecture that has just been ranked a national monument by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. It’s an ideal destination for those who fall in love with the beauty of quaint architecture and historic sites of the “Pearl of the Far East”.
General information about the People’s Committee Building
Address: 86 Le Thanh Ton Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Opening hours: 07:00 – 17:00pm from Monday to Friday, close on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
History of People’s Committee Building
Over 120 years of establishment and development, the building has changed its name through each period, being a witness to the historical, political, administrative and geographical changes of Saigon – City Ho Chi Minh.
The building was designed by architect Paul Gardès, who started construction in 1898, on high ground, at the end of Charner Street (now Nguyen Hue Street). It was completed and inaugurated in 1909. This building was the working headquarters of the Saigon City Council, named Hôtel de ville (roughly translated as City Hall).
After the Reunification of Vietnam, April 30, 1975, the building was taken over by the Military Administration of Saigon – Gia Dinh City and used as an office. On July 2, 1976, the National Assembly of Vietnam decided to change the name of the city Saigon – Gia Dinh to Ho Chi Minh City, the building is still used as the office of the government of Ho Chi Minh City.
Currently, the building is the headquarters of the People’s Council and the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. This place is a regular venue for important meetings and special conferences of the city’s leaders, a place to welcome international delegations to visit and work in Vietnam.
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The unique architecture of the People’s Committee Building
The headquarters is located on a campus with an area of about 7500m2, modelled from the Paris City Hall in the style of the bell towers in the North of France. The middle part is a high-pointed tower, the two sides have two balanced roofs.
In the middle of the façade is a decorative embossment with the shape of a strong woman and two children taming wild beasts, on both sides are two bas-reliefs of women. These are three clusters of classical-style sculptures that often appear in French town hall towers. Besides the overall architecture and bas-reliefs imbued with French culture, the building also shows harmony with Italian architecture in the Renaissance period, reflected in the two bell floors on both sides.
The main gate is a system of 5 consecutive small arched gates, made of elaborate flower-shaped iron, placed in the middle of the building. The side gate on the front side is the way for cars to go directly into the courtyard of the building. The decorative patterns – tips on the side gate are quite simple with stylized garlands.
The interior is richly decorated, filling the walls and ceilings with lots of bouquets or wreaths, palm leaves, laurel branches, ribbons, colourful glass paintings or paintings on the ceiling… very fashionable at that time. In addition, the lighting experts designed and installed artistic lighting to make the building even more brilliant.
Tourist attractions near the People’s Committee Building
- Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City
- Central Post Office
- Dragon Wharf
- Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon
- Ben Thanh Market
- Nguyen Hue Walking Street
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