Started to be built in 1864 and completed in 1867 with 475ha in area, Tu Duc Tomb was constructed in the difficult period of country as well as of the King himself.
Due to his failure in state affairs, Tu Duc became pessimistic gradually, especially in his old age. He thought about the death and then decided to build the tomb considered as the second palace where the King could come to relax or take a rest, chant poems… Tu Duc lived 16 years more after the tomb had been finished.
According to history, Tu Duc himself decided the architecture of the tomb. Inside the rampart, there are nearly 50 buildings arranging into groups on different earth potentials. Covered by Khiem Cung gate is the complex of palace where King and his servants stayed when they came here including Minh Khiem Duong- the royal theater or Hoa Khiem Hall used for wordship King and Queen. Khiem Cung Palace is all made from wood whereas those in grave area are made from stone and brick. A remarkable highlight is the largest stone stele of Viet Nam which showed the life, the royalty and even the guilt of the King written by himself. Beside Khiem Tri Lake, inside a small stone house is the rest place of Tu Duc surrounded by a peaceful pine forest.
In a word, Tu Duc Tomb can be seen as a poet, a charming landscape painting which can reflect partly the King’s characteristics. Compared with Khai dinh Tomb, it is a very interesting contrast.