Reunification Palace

This is actually something we visited in our first week here in Saigon, but I’ve been thinking of sharing it sense then.

The Reunification Palace here in Saigon is quite bizarre to visit. Aside from being an ode to the sixties, I find it interesting in the sense of a representation of reunification.

Here you have a “palace” – thank goodness that more palaces weren’t en vogue during the same era! – that for all intents and purposes could look like a museum relic of some pimp daddies pad in the sixties. It seems that you might have found one of these babies in Hollywood back in the day.
Anyway, I find it intriguing because while the original palace, Norodom Palce, was completed by the French in 1873. It was renamed Independence Hall in 1955 after more civil unrest, and then destroyed in 1962 from an air raid from the North. They decided to rebuild the palace into what it is today, completed in 1966. The palace was taken over by the North Vietnamese Army on April 30th 1975, in the fall of Saigon.

The basement holds the military headquarters for the South. Thus I find it interesting that it was renamed the Reunification Palace, as it’s ironic to call a palace that was bombed out and then taken over by another domestic entity as representative of the later reunification. I guess it just goes to show what a spin politics can put on things.


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