Tomb of Khải Định
The Tomb of Khải Định (Vietnamese: Lăng Khải Định, Hán tự: 陵啓定), officially Ứng Mausoleum (Ứng lăng, Hán tự: 應陵) is a tomb built for Khải Định, the twelfth Emperor of the Nguyễn dynasty of Vietnam. It features a blend of Vietnamese architecture with Western styles. The tomb was completed in 1931 after 11 years of construction. It is located on Châu Chữ mountain near the former capital city of Huế. The tomb became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 as part of the Complex of Hué Monuments.
In 1916, Khải Định became the Emperor of Vietnam after his predecessor was exiled by the French colonial government. Khải Định worked closely with the government of France, and by the end of his reign he was considered to be nothing more than "a salaried employee of the French government." Due to this close collaboration, he was very unpopular amongst the people of Vietnam. Like a number of Vietnamese emperors, Khải Định desired the preparation of a tomb in anticipation of his death, but he was the last member of the Nguyễn dynasty to make this decision. Before his death, Khải Định visited France, where he was likely influenced by the architectural styles there, evidenced by the European influences in his mausoleum. In anticipation, Khải Định allegedly "raised taxes by thirty percent in order to finance the construction of the lavish tomb." However, Swart and Till argue that while the French, who controlled the nation's finances, "did increase taxes substantially during [the Emperor's] reign", they would have been unlikely to do so solely for the purpose of the tomb. Construction began on 4 September 1920 but would not be complete by the time of Khải Dịnh's death in 1925. Khải Định's three-day funeral took place in late January 1926, where a funeral procession traveled from the Imperial City to the unfinished tomb. After 11 years of construction, and six years after Khải Đinh's death, the tomb was completed under Bảo Đại, Khải Định's son and successor, in 1931.
The Tomb of Khải Định became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, along with other Nguyễn dynasty structures in Huế. It is open to the public for visiting.