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"Nha Rong Harbor - The Beginning of the Journey to Save the Country


For a long time, Nha Rong Harbor has become an iconic symbol of Ho Chi Minh City. It bears witness to the ups and downs of history, particularly as the place where Uncle Ho (Ho Chi Minh) embarked on his journey to save the country.


Where is Nha Rong Harbor located?


Nha Rong Harbor is, in fact, a commercial port situated on the Saigon River and was built in 1864.

Where is Nha Rong Harbor? - It is located near Khanh Hoi Bridge, at 1 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Ward 12, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City.

This port is considered the busiest gateway in the country's trading ports. With its extremely strategic location, it faces the Bach Dang River, which is breezy all year round.

When the city lights up, the entire area of the harbor is illuminated with vibrant colors, adding a touch of enchantment and sparkle to the city.

Bến Nhà Rồng 1

(Source: Internet)

Nha Rong Harbor is officially known as Ho Chi Minh Museum. In Hanoi, there is also a museum with the same name, so to distinguish it, people refer to this one as the Ho Chi Minh Museum - Ho Chi Minh City branch.


History of Nha Rong Harbor


Let's trace the origin of this port as we go against the current of history.

In the past, after occupying South Vietnam, the French built a commercial port in Saigon with the aim of establishing a trading hub with the international community.

Bến Nhà Rồng 1

(Source: Internet)

The construction of the port was entrusted to a French shipping company called Messageries Maritimes, which erected a flagpole as a signal to guide the boats entering and leaving the port. People called it the Thủ Ngữ Flagpole.

It was not until near the end of 1899 that the company built a pier for ships to dock.

Today, the architectural complex of Nha Rong Harbor has been rebuilt by Vietnam and has become a memorial site dedicated to President Ho Chi Minh.

After going through many years of resistance against the French and American, Nha Rong Harbor has always been a place to organize demonstrations, rallies, and protests against the colonial regime and its minions by the people who could no longer bear the oppression and domination.

A historic event took place on May 13, 1975, when the ship named Song Hong docked at Nha Rong Harbor, symbolizing the unity of the country and connecting the maritime trade route between the North and South.


Architecture of Nha Rong Harbor


The overall architecture of the building follows Western style. However, what is unique is that there are two large dragons on the roof.

Perhaps that is why it is called "Nha Rong" (Dragon House). These two dragons are made of fired clay but glazed with green enamel.

They have their heads facing the round moon in the middle, forming a scene called "Lưỡng long chầu nguyệt" (Two Dragons Flanking the Moon). This style is commonly seen in the decoration of temples and pagodas in Vietnam.

The two ends of the building bear the initials M.I., which is an abbreviation for "Messageries Impériales" - the company that played a significant role in establishing the harbor.

Bến Nhà Rồng

(Source: Internet)

These initials are quite large and can be seen from two directions: facing the Saigon River or facing Khanh Hoi Street.

In 1871, the moon-shaped ornament "Lưỡng long chầu nguyệt" on the roof was replaced by the symbol of Messageries Impériales, which consists of a crown, an anchor, and a horse head.

Since 1955, Vietnam has rebuilt the roof of the building, replacing the two old dragons with two new dragons facing outward.

From then until now, the architecture of Nha Rong Harbor has remained mostly intact, and despite renovations, it has not diminished the ancient beauty it possessed.


Visiting Nha Rong Harbor


As mentioned, Nha Rong Harbor is now the Ho Chi Minh Museum, part of the nationwide system of museums and memorials dedicated to President Ho.

The building used to have three exhibition rooms (covering an area of 250 square meters), but after two renovations, the historical site now has nine rooms with a total area of 1,482.62 square meters for display purposes, as well as two storage rooms containing 10,927 documents and outdoor exhibits.

Bến Nhà Rồng 1

( Source: Internet)

The museum organizes various activities for propaganda and educational purposes, such as scientific conferences, seminars, talks about President Ho Chi Minh, introducing and screening documentary films, memoirs, and publications about President Ho Chi Minh.

Additionally, it is also the venue for party admission ceremonies, youth organization admissions, and competitions to enhance understanding of the biography and great revolutionary career of President Ho Chi Minh.

Today, the authorities of Ho Chi Minh City are making efforts to enhance the vividness and richness of the museum, aiming to attract tourists both domestic and international."

Ngoc Nguyen

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