Nam Phuong’s father gifted her a mansion in Da Lat when she got married to Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam.
Now situated in the Lam Dong Province museum, the palace of Empress Nam Phuong (1914-1962) is atop a tall hill with a panoramic view of the resort town of Da Lat.
It was built by Nguyen Huu Hao, her father, as a vacation house in 1932.
It has three floors and a total area of around 500 square meters, and is set in a vast garden of green pine trees. The mansion has French architectural style combined with eastern features.
The top floor is pentagon shaped, with a protruding tiled roof. The ventilation system has decorative details resembling peach branches. This floor is now a place to exhibit artifacts from the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), the country’s last feudal rulers.
The last ruler of Vietnam, Emperor Bao Dai (reigning from 1926 to 1945), and Empress Nam Phuong used to stay in the mansion occasionally while on vacation. The inside and outside of the house are painted yellow, a common feature of French buildings.
The staircases, windows and furniture are paneled with high-quality wood.
There are 10 rooms in the house, and Nam Phuong’s room is on the second floor. Many of her belongings, such as wardrobes, beds, dressing tables, royal costumes, are still intact.
This piano, brought from France, is inside the empress’ room.
The waiting room for visitors is located at the entrance next to the living room.
The bedroom of the empress’ parents is on the second floor. Each room has its own fireplace made from various kinds of colored marble. Most rooms have a balcony for sightseeing.
There are also a private room of Prince Bao Long, a banquet room, a dining room, and a kitchen.
In 1947, two years after the last imperial dynasty of Vietnam collapsed, Empress Nam Phuong went to France to live and never returned to the mansion.
Among the artifacts on display are letters that Nam Phuong wrote from France to Bao Dai in 1949. The royal documents and papers are enclosed in glass cases.
The place has many pictures of Empress Nam Phuong, King Bao Dai and Prince Bao Long in Vietnam and France.
Empress Nam Phuong was the last empress of the Nguyen Dynasty and Vietnam’s feudal history.