Tomb of Tu Duc at Complex of Huế Monuments, Vietnam

Eternal resting place of the emperor



Digitally documenting Tu Duc's tomb at Hue Monuments by Kieran Kesner for CyArkCyArk

Expedition Overview

In the summer of 2018, CyArk documented several monuments related to the Vietnamese Emperor Tu Duc at the Huế Monuments Complex. CyArk collaborated with the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre (HMCC) to document the Hoa Khiem Temple, Tu Duc Tomb Stele Building, Tu Duc Queen’s tomb and the nearby An Dinh Palace. The HMCC recently completed a restoration program on buildings at the monument and wanted baseline documentation of the structures for conservation purposes, as well as digital assets to be used in the promotion of the site. CyArk completed photogrammetry of both the interior and exterior of the monuments with a Nikon D810 and a Phase One Medium format camera and aerial photogrammetry with a Phantom 4 Pro drone. Scanning of the monuments was accomplished with a FARO X330 laser scanner. 

Tu Duc's Tomb at Hue Monuments by Kieran Kesner for CyArkCyArk

Introducing Tu Duc's Tomb at Huế Monuments

The Complex of Huế Monuments is located within the Thua Thien-Hue Province in the geographical center of Vietnam. Established as the capital of unified Vietnam in 1802, Huế was not only the political but also the cultural and religious center under the Nguyen dynasty until 1945. The Huế Monuments Complex has suffered from the effects of wars, as well as modern development and expanding human settlements. The Tu Duc Tomb is the final resting place of Emperor Tu Duc who reigned from 1848 until his death in 1883. Tu Duc faced encroaching colonialism from the west as well as turmoil within the Vietnam, particularly related to the construction of his tomb. In attempt reduce the construction time, managers of the project reduced the timeline from six to three years by eliminating laborers' breaks, resulting in a rebellion. After a short delay, construction resumed, culminating in a park-like tomb complex designed to reflect Tu Duc’s extensive education in history, philosophy, literature, and art.

Stele at Tu Duc's Tomb (2018) by CyArkCyArk

Stele at Tu Duc's Tomb

Weighing 20 tons, the largest in Vietnam, Tu Duc’s stone stele is housed in a massive brick house on his tomb complex. On the stele is a 5,000 character epitaph authored by Emperor Tu Duc, critical of mistakes he made throughout his reign.

Hue Monuments Tu Duc Tomb Stele Building by CyArkCyArk

On the shore of Luu Khiem Lake at Tu Duc's Tomb

Hue Monuments Complex - CyArk by CyArkCyArk

Data from this project is now freely available through Open Heritage 3D.
Download the data from:
Tomb of Tu Duc
An Dinh Palace

About Open Heritage 3D
The mission of the Open Heritage 3D project is to:
● Provide open access to 3D cultural heritage datasets for education, research and other
non-commercial uses.
● Minimize the technical, financial and legal barriers for publishers of 3D heritage data.
● Promote discovery and re-use of datasets through standardized metadata and data formats.
● Foster community collaboration and knowledge sharing in the 3D cultural heritage community.
● Share best practices and methodologies for the capture, processing and storage of 3D cultural heritage data

Credits: Story

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Credits: All media
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