Temple The Mieu
Situated southwest of the Citadel
and facing south, The Mieu Temple is dedicated to ten Emperors of the Nguyen dynasty.
Built by Emperor Minh Mang in 1821, it presents a 9-compartment main building and a
11-compartment front building, together connected in the "double" architecture
with two bays on east and west sides It is roofed with yellow enameled tiles and on the
ridge rests a wine gourd decorated with Phap Lam enamel.
The Mieu Temple once had seven red and yellow
lacquered altars (one in the middle, three on either side).
The middle altar was dedicated to Emperor Gia Long and his two Queens (Thua Thien and
The first altar (left) was dedicated to Emperor Minh Mang and Queen.
The first altar (right) was dedicated to Emperor Thieu Tri and Queen.
The second altar (left) was dedicated to Emperor Tu Duc and Queen.
The second altar (right) was dedicated to Emperor Kien Phuc.
The third altar (left) was dedicated to Emperor Dong Khanh and Queen.
The third altar (right) was dedicated to Emperor Khai Dinh.
On January 25, 1959, at the request of the royal
family and the people, a ceremony was held to admit to the temple mortuary tablets of Ham
Nghi, Thanh Thai, and Duy Tan, three anti-French Emperors. So, there are today three
additional reddish-lacquered altars for them in the temple.
East of the temple is the Canh Y Palace. West of it is a square-shaped
chapel for the worship of the God of Earth. A wall runs all around The Mieu Temple with
the Khai Dich Gate (Gate of Bringing Up) on the east, the Sung Thanh Gate (Gate of Peace
Honoring) on the west, the Hien Huu Gate (Gate of Recognizable Assistance) (left) and Doc
Huu Gate (Gate of Genuine Assistance) (right) at the back.
In the yard of the temple stand the Nine Dynasty
Urns. Behind them is a wall with the Hien Lam Pavilion (Pavilion of Glorious Coming) in
the middle. Left of this pavilion is the Tuan Liet Gate (Gate of Grandness) topped by a
belfry and right of it is the Sung Cong Gate (Gate of Honorable Achievements) with a
drum-tower atop (The temple is architecturally similar to Thai Temple).
Outside of the Hien Lam Pavilion are the Left and
Right Houses, dedicated to meritorious mandarins who had devoted themselves to Nguyen Anh
(later known as Emperor Gia Long) and his successors.
The Left House honors the four royal family members
Ton That Man, Ton That Dien, Ton That Huy, and Ton That Hoi.
The Right House is dedicated to Vo Van Tanh, Ngo Tung Chau, Chau Van Tien,
Vo Di Nguy, Nguyen Van Truong, Pham Van Nhon, Nguyen Huynh Duc, Tong Phuc Dam, Nguyen Van
Man, Do Van Huu, Nguyen Van Nhon, Mai Duc Nghi, and Truong Dang Que, accepted by Emperor
Minh Mang in 1827.
Farther is the main entrance to the temple guarded
by two stone Kylins (mythical animals)
Many personal paraphernalia of great value which
belonged to the Nguyen Emperors are kept in the temple. On each altar were once dozens of
gold ingots. Fortunately enough, the temple has suffered the least damage through the
numerous wars and today visitors can see it as it was originally built.