Independence Palace also known as Reunification Palace was built on the site of the former Norodom Palace is a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was designed by architect Ngô Viết Thụ and was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates.
The building was constructed on July 1, 1962 and was inaugurated on October 3, 1966. According to the design, the building’s construction area is 45,000 square meters. The floor area is 20,000 square meters in use, including three main floors, two mezzanines, one terrace (with aheliport) and a ground floor. Total number of rooms in the palace is 95 rooms, not including the toilet area, lobby and guest lounge. The work for internal affairs and foreign affairs is organized in the ground floor, 1st floor or 2nd floor. The architect Ngo Viet Thu said “the building costed about 150,000 gold bullions. At that time, every soldier and the government employees had to contribute their one-day salary.
At each time, the building is always a headquarter of contemporary government. The building’s names has been changed after each historical event (Norodom Palace: 1863-1954, Palace of Prime Minister: 9 / 1954-10 / 1956, the Independence Palace: 10 / 1956-1975, Reunification Hall from June 25, 1976 to present) and associated with the struggle against foreign aggression and struggle for independence and unification of the Vietnamese people. On 8 April 1975, Nguyễn Thanh Trung, a pilot of the Vietnam Air Force and an undetected communist spy, flew an F-5E aircraft from Biên Hòa Air Base to bomb the palace, but caused no significant damage. At 10:45 on 30 April 1975, a tank of the North Vietnamese Army bulldozed through the main gate, ending the Vietnam War.
In November 1975, after the negotiation convention between the communist North Vietnam and their colleagues in South Vietnam was completed, the Provisional Revolutionary Government renamed the palace Reunification Hall.
Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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