The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
is a large memorial to the Vietnamese leader in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located in the center of Ba Dinh Square
where the beloved Ho Chi Minh president read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945 giving birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The mausoleum is one of the most popular destinations in Hanoi
Construction work began on September 2, 1973 and the structure was formally inaugurated on August 29, 1975. The mausoleum was inspired by Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow but incorporates distinct Vietnamese architectural elements, such as the sloping roof. The exterior is made of gray granite, while the interior is gray, black, and red polished stone. The mausoleum's portico has the words "Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh" inscribed across it, meaning "President Ho Chi Minh."
In his will, Ho Chi Minh stated his wish to be cremated and to have his ashes scattered in the hills of north, central, and southern Vietnam. He said that he preferred cremation because it would be "more hygienic than burial and would also save land for agricultural purposes." The mausoleum was built in spite of his wishes.
The structure itself is 21.6 meters high and 41.2 meters wide and its flanked by two platforms with seven steps for parade viewing. The plaza in front of the mausoleum is divided into 240 green squares separated by pathways. The gardens surrounding it have nearly 250 different species of plants and flowers from all different regions of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh's body is preserved in the cooled, central hall of the mausoleum, which is protected by a military honor guard. The body lies in a glass case with dim lights.
The visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
is usually combined with the visit to Ho Chi Minh Museum and nearby One Pillar Pagoda.
The Mausoleum is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, except Monday and Friday. In summer, it is open from 7.30 am to 10.30 am; in winter is from 8 am to 11 am. The hours are extended by 30 minutes on Sundays and holidays. The Mausoleum is usually closed from September 5 to December 10 for maintenance. Photography is not allowed inside the mausoleum. No short skirts or tank tops are allowed and there is high level of security check upon arrival. Day packs can be put in a safe deposit before you enter but make sure you do not carry many valuable items with you. Taking photos, talking or finger-pointing are strictly prohibited inside the mausoleums.
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a symbol of the gratitude and respect of Vietnamese people for president Ho Chi Minh. If you have a chance to visit Hanoi Capital, make sure you will not miss this place to discover more about history of the greatest president so far – Ho Chi Minh.