Discover Khiem Tho mausoleum – resting place of Queen Le Thien Anh
To the north of the Tomb of King Tu Duc ( Khiem Lang, Thuy Xuan Ward, Hue City) there is a smaller but very beautiful mausoleum of Queen Le Thien Anh. Her mausoleum is named Khiem Tho Lang, has 4 floors, the lower 3 floors are a large yard, the top floor is where the grave is located.
The gate of Buu citadel is covered with lapis lazuli tiles with a phoenix image for decoration. Queen Le Thien Anh’s real name was Vu Thi Duyen (1828-1903), the child of the son of the Imperial Crown Prince, the Crown Prince, and the scholar Vu Xuan Can. At the age of 15, she was recruited to serve King Tu Duc (who was the crown prince at that time). Being virtuous, she worked hard to serve Queen Nghi Thien Chuong, so she was praised by the queen and won the love of King Tu Duc.
Beloved and loved by the king, she was in turn ranked in the Qin rank and then ascended to Hoang Quy consort in 1862 (from the time of Minh Mang, the Nguyen dynasty did not establish a queen, Hoang Quy consort was the highest throne, the throne was empress. was only established when the king died).
In 1882, when the French attacked in the North, King Tu Duc constantly had to chair meetings of the court to find a way to cope. The king’s health is weaker. Therefore, he was often angry, angry for no reason… Due to a delay in medicine by the servant, the king got angry, accused her of being careless, and demoted her to Central Africa.
Because he had no children, King Tu Duc adopted 3 grandchildren. Before the king’s death, the king had to make her queen; to Prince Nguyen Phuc Ung Chan, the prince raised by her, succeeding the throne. But when Prince Ung Chan only ascended the throne for 3 days, he committed the crime of editing his passport, had a great funeral, but wore colored clothes … so he was deposed by the great gods. Then he starved to death.
Therefore, her fate is also uncertain. Later, King Hiep Hoa (King Tu Duc’s younger brother) ascended the throne and wanted to follow the decree to ordain her, but she refused. She only asked to go to Khiem Lang to take care of her husband’s incense. But with the complexity of the political situation and the war against the French, she had to flee to Quang Tri, back to Khiem Lang and then back to the imperial city of Hue. In 1903, she died at the age of 75.
The most unique feature in the mausoleum of Queen Le Thien Anh (Khem Tho Lang) is the finely decorated screens with ceramic pieces.
The characters of longevity, two phoenixes adoring the moon, birds and turtles are vividly created by the talented hands of skilled workers. After more than 100 years, these patterns are still quite intact.
Today, her tomb is regularly visited by tourists. In 2020, Queen Le Thien Anh was taken as a model to build the character Vo An Duyen in the movie Phuong Khac.
*Information in this article is referenced from many sources*
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