Opera House (now renamed the Municipal Theater)

French architect?
Reopened after a $20 million refurbishing.

View of the Neo-Baroque facade

French colonists in Vietnam wanted to enjoy the same leisure time activities in Asia that they had loved in France. This is a smaller version of the famous Opera House in Paris, built between 1857-74 and designed by Charles Garnier. It is still the largest theater in Vietnam, seating about 600 persons. Pavilions are domed at the end and a large vaulted space occupies the center of the structure. (See side views below.) Yellow seems to be the favored color of French colonial architecture in Vietnam.

Front facade

The front facade is emphasized by columns of the gigantic order set on high plinths. Between the pavilions beautiful loggias are aligned across both the lower and second story.

Decorative details of the front

Columns have incised geometric decoration at the base, top, and center. The rounded balconies between the columns are supported by elaborate brackets. The revolution against the French was proclaimed from one of these balconies in 1945.

Decorative details of the top


Views of the side


An oblique view showing the huge vaulted roof over the auditorium


A side entrance with decorative iron work

A winged mythical beast sits on the roof (image at center).

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© 2004 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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