Independence Palace

I'm sure this is the most famous building in Vietnam. On 30 April 1975, the tanks of the Vietcong rammed down the gates and the Vietnam War was over. An American Reporter photographed the scene and it was on the front page on every newspaper in the world.

This is "Independence Palace" (during the life of South Vietnam) and renamed "Reunification Palace" following the war. The current building was built in the early 60s to replace a French Palace which occupied the site for about 100 years. It has three different functions. Firstly, it is a meeting place for special guests of the President of South Vietnam. Secondly, it is the home of the President and his family. Thirdly the basement is a secure command and communications centre. After the French left Vietnam in 1954, the country was partitioned. The Capital of North Vietnam was Hanoi and run by the Communists. The Capital of South Vietnam was Saigon and financed by America. This palace was paid for by the Americans.

The palace is more-or-less as it stood in 1975 when the tanks arrived. It's a fascinating glimpse directly into the Vietnam War. You can almost hear the helicopters, gun-fire and bombing.

The American Military withdrew from Vietnam in 1973 and left South Vietnam to fight the Viet Cong alone. This ultimately resulted in the defeat of South Vietnam and the reunification of the country. The cost of the Vietnam was extensive. About 3 million Vietnamese were killed, 2 million refugees (the boat people), 58,000 dead Americans, extensive environmental damage from chemicals and unexploded ordnance. I'd like mention some positive outcome from the war. I can't. It was a dreadful mistake. It's not surprising that American Students protested the war. The Administration could not explain why they were fighting. They imagined they were preventing the spread of communism. They were fighting ghosts. The Vietnamese were fighting for the reunification of their country and the end of colonialism.

Many refugees from Vietnam made their way to the United States. Today, there are about 300,000 Vietnamese people living in San Jose, California. 30% of the population. I've worked with many people from Vietnam and have found them to be very pleasant and agreeable people who work hard.

The Political Leader of North Vietnam was Ho Chi Minh. He died in 1969 of age related illness. He was about 80. 6 years later, the ghost of Ho lead his men to success in South Vietnam. Saigon was appropriately renamed "Ho Chi Minh City" in his honour.


 

Traffic Outside

Leaving ticket booth

War Stoppers

Fountain

Grass and Tanks

Entrance

New and Old

 

Cabinet Room

About Cabinet Room

Cabinet Room

Visitors

Garden

State Function Room

Ho

7 Panels

Grand Staircase

Architectural Symbols

State Banquet Hall

About Banquet Hall

Information

Beautiful Painting

 

 

 

Flowers on the Table

View from Window

Modern Saigon

Coffee Shop!

War Room

Gardens

Blossom

 

Presidential Office

 

 

Guest Reception Room

Presidential Reception

Architecture

Beautiful Internal Balcony

 

External Balcony

Tanks in the Garden

Fountain

Top of Grand Staircase

 

Veep's Reception Room

 

 

 

Magnificent Carpet

 

Grand Staircase

 

Embassador's Chamber

 

Family Quarters

Bedroom

 

Trophies and Boats

Rooftop

Family Dining Room

Wee ornaments

Mrs President's Dining Room

Presidential Chopper

Theatre

 

Games Room

Rooftop Night Club

 

 

 

 

 

Nice View

Unfriendly neighbours

 

 

 

 

Dungeon

 

Air Raid Shelter

 

War Room

Kitchen

Limo

Shooting Gallery

Family Playground

Behind the palace

Front Lawn

 

 

 

Very unfriendly neighbours

 

 

 

Flag

Independence Palace


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