People's Committee Building is always at the top list for the majority of travelers when they want to explore and learn the history of Ho Chi Minh City, the “Pearl of the Far East.” Thus, if you are about to travel to Ho Chi Minh City, paying a visit to this site is not a bad idea!
1. Where is People's Committee Building? How to get there?
- Address: 86 Le Thanh Ton Street, Ben Nghe ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
- How to get there: The People's Committee Building is in the center of the city, so you can get there by wandering along Nguyen Hue walking street if your hotel is close. Other options like renting a bike, a scooter, or taking a motorbike or taxi will be optimal when your hotel is far from this site.
2. Thing to know about the history of People's Committee Building
The People's Committee Building, also known as Ho Chi Minh City Hall or Ho Chi Minh Square, was originally called Hôtel de Ville, and it was designed by Paul Gardès, a renowned French architect. The hall was constructed in 1898 on high ground at the end of Charner street (the former name of Nguyen Hue walking street) and inaugurated in 1909.
At first, it was the headquarters of the Saigon City Council. After Reunification Day on April 30, 1975, this hall became a People's Committee Building Saigon. One year later, it was a working place of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee after the Vietnamese Congress decided to change the name of the city from Sai Gon - Gia Dinh to Ho Chi Minh.
When this building was initially built, it simply had a hall with a clock tower on top and two single-story constructions on each side of the main hall. In the 1940s, these constructions were upgraded to two storeys.
Nowadays, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City usually uses this hall for important meetings and special conferences of leaders from inside and outside Vietnam's border.
3. The architectural beauty of People's Committee Building
Ho Chi Minh Square can be spotted easily from the far distance thanks to its white and pastel yellow as well as its colossus size. In addition, the Vietnam flag on top of the belfry also makes it stand out amongst the skyscrapers in Ho Chi Minh City.
The iconic outlook of this building is inspired by French Renaissance Revival architecture, which emphasizes leisure and elegance. That explains why it has steeply sloping roofs, dormer windows, towers, and arched entrances.
Other highlights of the People's Committee Building come from the sculptures. There is an embossed sculpture on each building; the two on the right and left feature goddesses clutching swords, whereas the one in the center depicts a nymph and two angels fighting against ferocious beasts. They are the works of Ruffer and Bonnet, the two outstanding sculptors of this period.
The interior design is also under the influence of French Renaissance architecture, with the walls full of paintings of wreaths, palm leaves, laurel branches, and angels. Unfortunately, visitors cannot go inside this hall to see it and take photos, as it is currently in use by the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh.
4. Top 3 tourist attractions near People's Committee Building
There are 3 places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City that only take you a few minutes to commute from Ho Chi Minh City Hall. We highly recommend them if you want to make the most of your trip.
4.1. Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Opposite the façade of the People's Committee Building is Nguyen Hue walking street. This street is available for all means of transportation during the weekdays, but that is not the case on weekends from 6 pm until 1 am.
This pedestrian street was opened in 2015, and since then, it has been among the most visited places in Ho Chi Minh by international and domestic tourists.
Along the street, there are several high-rise buildings, excellent restaurants, luxury stores, and commercial arcades. This street becomes lively and crowded at night with people and street vendors. You should wander around this street before dawn if you are craving a peaceful stroll.
4.2. Ho Chi Minh City Opera House
The Ho Chi Minh City Opera House, which stands gloriously in the heart of the city and intersects numerous vital roads, is among the most spectacular sights in Ho Chi Minh. With a three-minute walk from the People's Committee Building, you can find yourself at this site, another French Renaissance-inspired structure.
This Opera House is a perfect place for taking photos, especially in the late afternoon when the sunlight shines on the façade of this landmark.
In addition, there are various performances and shows at the Opera House for you to explore. If you are a big fan of art performances, do not hesitate to buy the ticket and immerse yourself in the world of art.
4.3. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
If you want to find a tranquil place in a hustling and bustling city, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is our suggestion. This cathedral was built in 1877 and finished in 1880 with bright red brick, which is very noticeable in the Paris Commune Square. The special thing about these bricks is that they are moss-free and have kept their original color for decades.
Before entering the cathedral, you can grab a cup of Vietnamese coffee on the sidewalk and contemplate the view around the church. If you are lucky enough, you can see some pre-marriage couples taking photos for their wedding albums.
Stepping inside the church will make your jaw drop with the ancient grandeur, enchantment, and holiness of the Notre Dame Cathedral’s interior design.
To fulfill your trip in Ho Chi Minh City, there are other suggested places you can visit: Independence Palace, Landmark 81 Vietnam, Jade Emperor Pagoda, War Remnants Museum, Bui Vien Walking Street, etc.
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The People's Committee Building, one of the finest examples of French colonial architecture in the nation, has maintained its stunning beauty for over a century. A trip to Ho Chi Minh City cannot be fulfilled if this site is not on the list. By visiting this site, you will have a more in-depth understanding of this city's history and give you and your family a meaningful trip.