Admire 4 ancient Hue garden houses

Last updated - November 27, 2023
Admire 4 ancient Hue garden houses

Hue is always a favourite destination for tourists who love history and culture. Despite many ups and downs, Hue still retains its own unique style that not every locality has. That style is not only reflected in the accent, behaviour and culinary culture that is very Hue but is also felt through the architectural works in this city.

In addition to the system of pagodas, mausoleums, temples, and shrines, Hue cultural heritage also has a system of garden houses with unique characteristics. It can be said that the ancient garden house system is a valuable asset, contributing to the unique beauty of Hue's architectural and cultural heritage, and becoming a Hue tourist attraction every time they come to this city.

Built according to the laws of "Feng Shui," the ancient Hue garden houses are a collection of architectural systems arranged in the North-South direction. Although the width and narrowness are different, every house has the same overall architecture, including gates, alleys, screens, rockeries, pools, yards, and houses.

Let's join Ama Journey to learn about these four ancient garden houses with many cultural and architectural values in Hue!


1. An Hien garden house

Known as "the most beautiful garden house in Hue", An Hien garden house is a four-season destination for tourists from all over when they visit Hue. With a history of more than a century, An Hien garden house still retains the almost intact  landscape beauty and architecture of ancient Hue garden houses, both bearing the quintessence of the aristocracy and traditional folk colours.

An Hien garden house is located on the North bank of the Perfume River, west of the capital, in Kim Long land. It is located at 58 Nguyen Phuc Nguyen Street, Xuan Hoa Village, Huong Long Commune, Hue City, near the Thien Mu Pagoda.

According to historical records, before 1895, the first homeowner of this place was the 18th princess of King Duc Duc. At that time, this house was the princess' palace. However, after that, because of each owner's personal situation and historical context, the house changed owners many times, including princes, mandarins and the upper class in Hue.

The ancient beauty of An Hien garden house in Hue

The total area of An Hien garden house is 4,608 m2, facing South, its front overlooking the Perfume River. The house is built in the traditional architectural style of Vietnam and Hue. The entrance to the garden house is a small archway built of bricks, lime and mortar. Along the path are two rows of white plum trees intertwined, shading the entire area. Turn left and you will see a rectangular lake completely covered with water lilies and lotus flowers. In addition, many types of fruit trees are planted in the garden, such as tangerine, mangosteen, durian, dragon fruit, apricot, persimmon, lychee, lemongrass, etc.

The main architecture of An Hien Garden house is a house with 3 rooms and 2 wings. The middle space is the worship space, and the two compartments on both sides are places to receive guests according to the principle of "left for men, right for women". The two wings of the house are similar, the left side is the living area for men and the right side is the living area for women.

The entire frame structure in the house is made of wood. The patterns and motifs are all carved and sculpted extremely delicately. The roof is covered with multi-layered tiles, the two sides of the roof are flanked by dragons, and in the middle of the top of the roof is a lotus shape. The house has many precious memorabilia of the Nguyen Dynasty royal court. That's a banner with the four words "Van Vo Trung Hieu" given to this family by King Bao Dai in 1937, currently hung in the middle room, and many poems by King Thanh Thai, currently also hung in the reception area in the house.

Currently, An Hien Garden house is a cultural address, a familiar stop for Hue tours. Coming to An Hien garden house, you will be able to visit the house and garden and learn about the life of the old female owner of An Hien. In addition, visitors will also enjoy a Hue music program performed in the newly built house in the corner of the garden.

The entrance ticket to visit this place is only 35.000 VND.

2. Y Thao Garden house

Y Thao Garden house is located at 03 Thach Han Street and is the right place for those who love and are passionate about learning about Hue architecture.

Y Thao Garden house has an architectural style like an old villa with 2 spaces outside the yard and inside the restaurant. The garden space creates a fresh, clean atmosphere with the natural scent of grass and trees. The space inside is quiet, clean and elegant. This is definitely a unique destination in Hue that you definitely cannot miss when you set foot in this land.

Besides, Y Thao Garden house is also a place to welcome guests to visit and organize family meals, and vegetarian and omnivore parties with bold Hue nuances. The delicious Hue dishes here are presented very elaborately and beautifully, which helps enhance their flavour so that diners will be captivated from the first try. In particular, the restaurant has courses to cook Vietnamese dishes for tourists, bringing wonderful experiences to guests who visit this place.

The tranquility at Y Thao garden house

Y Thao Garden house also owns two collections featuring Hue's fine arts: A collection of 200 Hue blue-glazed porcelain items from the Le - Trinh and Nguyen Lords eras over 300 years old. The second collection is Hue mirror paintings, including Conch mirror paintings, princess portraits, four-screen paintings of Cam Ky Thi Hoa, Eight Gods... This may be the greatest value of this garden house, which attracts tourists by the appearance of objects and ancient names written in Chinese and Nom characters.

The above two collections are considered two precious antiques with special cultural value. Tourists visiting Hue should not miss the opportunity to visit Y Thao Garden house to experience and learn about the traditional cultural values of Hue people in particular and Vietnamese culture in general.

3. Princess Ngoc Son garden house

Princess Ngoc Son Garden house is a famous destination in the ancient capital of Hue which  attracts tourists from all over the world. It is an isolated house shaded by trees all year round, located at 31 Nguyen Chi Thanh, Phu Hiep ward, where there used to be the old Gia Hoi land , east of the Hue Citadel.

Princess Ngoc Son is the daughter of King Dong Khanh. When the princess married, King Dong Khanh granted her a 2,370 square metre plot of land to establish a garden house.
The garden grounds have screens, rockery, and a lotus pond. Ngoc Son Princess garden house was built relatively early and has been preserved almost intact by generations of descendants. The entire campus is planned methodically, according to Eastern Feng Shui principles, with the following elements: front barricade (screen), front yard (lake), etc.

A beautiful architecture of princess Ngoc Son garden house in Hue

The main house is built in the traditional Ruong (pillar) house architecture. Entering the house, we will feel the solemn and ancient look, different from what is going on in everyday life.

The entire house reflects the owner's elegant life, pure soul and love of art. The main house turning away from the street shows that this is the owner's way of choosing the direction while staying away from the vibrant and noisy atmosphere of urban life. Here, the harmony between the three elements of Architecture - People - Nature has reached a level of sophistication. In other words, it has a magical attraction to anyone who has ever been to this place.

Princess Ngoc Son Garden house is now the private home of historian and researcher Phan Thuan An. His wife, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Suong, is a descendant of the royal son-in-law Nguyen Huu Tien. Currently, researcher Phan Thuan An and his wife are living here with their children and grandchildren while taking care of and preserving this valuable heritage.

4. Lac Tinh garden house

Lac Tinh Vien was founded by poet Hong Khang in 1889 on a plot of land with an area of 2,070 square metres in the old Duong Xuan village, now 65 Phan Dinh Phung - Hue. Lac Tinh Vien has a beautiful, airy campus.

The path leading to the house is lined with rows of hibiscus flowers on both sides, then clusters of roses, laurels, apricot blossoms, etc. planted symmetrically. Under the trees, small tables and chairs are placed for visitors to sit and drink tea,  admiring the scenery. After the road from the entrance gate, we can see a screen built in the shape of a stylized scroll, with a regular hexagonal honeycomb structure, creating ventilation, and making the yard less separated.

Lac Tinh garden house in Hue

In the Lac Tinh Vien campus, there are 4 houses built next to each other, each house has its own name, carrying a special meaning, associated with the relationship of the owner:

- Nhan Hau House: All four sides are airy without partitions, surrounded by many flower beds and ornamental pots, is used as a place to receive guests, enjoy flowers and a place to help the poor.
- Hy Tran Trai House: Located in the centre of the garden. The house is decorated with many parallel sentences. The main building has 59 ironwood columns and a tiled roof. The beams and rafters are carved by the delicate hands of talented sculptors, with prominent images such as dragons, and eight treasures, etc.
- Van Trai House: is a place to work and rest.
- Di Tam Thich The Duong House: is a place for children and grandchildren to study.

All four houses have an ancient appearance, from the architectural style to the objects and decorations, all  arranged in a unique style, giving visitors an impression of elegance and sophistication.      
When we step out of the gate of Lac Tinh Vien, encountering the mundaneness of everyday life, suddenly we want to turn around and step back into the interior of Lac Tinh Vien, to rediscover the cultured, studious lifestyle of the nobles of the ancient Nguyen Dynasty that still lingers.

Through the list above, do not miss the opportunity to stop at famous garden houses in Hue to fully enjoy the quiet, peaceful atmosphere that is very Hue here.

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