The Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum (Vietnamese: Lăng Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh) is a large memorial to the Vietnamese leader in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located in the center of Ba Dinh Square, which is the place where Ho read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Built 1973-1975. Ho Chi Minh’s body is preserved in the cooled, central hall of the mausoleum, with a military honor guard.
The Totalitarian / Stalinist mausoleum was inspired by Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow (see images) and is contextual to the extent that the roof lines and peristyle vaguely recall traditional houses. The exterior is made of gray granite, while the interior is gray, black, and red polished stone. The mausoleum’s portico has the words “Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh” inscribed across it, meaning “President Ho Chi Minh” inlaid from crimson stone gem of Cao Bang.
Construction materials were brought from all over the country and the Soviet Union also sent two thousand slabs of marble and polished marble to decorate the tomb. The structure is 21.6 metres high and 41.2 metres wide. Flanking the mausoleum are two platforms with seven steps for parade viewing.
The Mausoleum is designed to have high durability against the bombing and earthquake. There are also special protection against floods and the glass coffin is built to withstand large mechanical force and “special accommodations” are in place to keep the corpse safe in case of war.
Photography © Quintin Lake, 2010