Oct 17, 2017 / 21:17

Hunt for stamps of French architecture in Hanoi

The Hanoitimes - Amid the continuous development of Hanoi, the French architecture hallmark stands still as a witness for a long history which contributes to Hanoi today.

 As Jean-Noel Poirier, former French Ambassador to Vietnam said: “Hanoi old quarter shows the marriage of French and Vietnamese architecture”. With numerous layers of history, Hanoi city’s face enjoys the combination of varied architecture styles, including French's.
1. Hanoi Opera house
This is an opera house in central Hanoi, Vietnam. It was erected by the French colonial administration between 1901 and 1911. An essential part of Hanoi’s thounsand-year-old history, Hanoi Opera House is without doubt one of the most famous cultural and architectural monuments of Hanoi.
Located on the famous August Revolution Square, Hanoi Opera House is just a few steps from Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Old Quarter and Vietnam History Museum. The Opera house was constructed for ten years from 1901 to 1911 and modeled on Palais Garnier – the older of Paris two opera houses, Hanoi Opera house is the unique combination of traditional Greek architecture and Opera de Paris to become one of the most attracted site for incredible cultural activities.
2. Hanoi Big Church
St Joseph's Cathedral – or Hanoi Big Church located on Nha Tho street – Hanoi, the church was one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina when it opened in December 1886. It is the oldest church in Hanoi.
In a general view, this architecture is the cultural exchange between the East and the West which is shown up by European Gothic with local architecture – terracotta roof as an example.
3. Long Bien bridge
Long Bien bridge is a historic cantilever bridge across the Red River that connects two districts, Hoan Kiemand Long Bien of the city of Hanoi, Vietnam. It was originally called Paul Doumer Bridge.
It was heavily bombarded during Vietnam War due to its critical position (the only bridge at that time across the Red River connecting Hanoi to the main port of Haiphong). However, the defence of Long Bien Bridge continues to play a large role in Hanoi’s self-image and is often extolled in poetry and song.
4. Sofitel Metropol Hanoi
This hotel was built in 1901 by André Ducamp and Gustave-Émile Dumoutier. It is also the first 5-star hotel of Hanoi to honouredly welcome politicians, celebrities, etc.
Divided into two wings, the historic Metropole side blends classic French and Vietnamese styles while the contemporary Opera wing displays neoclassical influences. "Rooms are spacious and richly appointed." Dine on French fare at Le Beaulieu, sip a cocktail at the poolside Bamboo Bar, or head to Le Club for a chocolate buffet and jazz performances. "Everyone goes above and beyond to make you feel special."
5. Hanoi Moi Press Center
Located along Hoan Kiem lake, Hanoi Moi Press Center, formerly known as l’Avenir du Tonkin Press Center, was built in 1893 and featured by Art Nouveau style – one of the most popular style in French colonialism.

6. Other government offices
In the urban area of Hanoi, there is a range of magnificent French structures such as: the Governor of Indochina (now the Presidential Palace), Tonkin’s Palace (now the government Guest House), Bank of Indochina (now the State Bank of Vietnam), the Court (now the Supreme people’s court)…
Vietnam's presidential palace
Vietnam's presidential palace
Each works has its own special appearance, consistent with the surrounding landscape.