Saigon Opera House, the oldest theatre in Vietnam
- on Dec 17, 2019       By: BN
A major cultural and artistic meeting place of the city, Saigon Opera House is known among the centenary monuments which retraced the old-fashioned beauty of ex-Saigon. A concert, a ballet, a contemporary or traditional Vietnamese dance, whatever your desires, you can spend a beautiful evening in a historic theatre full of charm.
Located on the main axis of the city centre, the building is a cultural landmark of Lam Son Square and Dong Khoi Street or formerly Catinat Street, between the famous Caravelle and Continental hotels. With its white columns and elegant arcades, the municipal theatre of Ho Chi Minh City makes you imagine for a moment that you are in a small romantic Paris, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
The first theatre in Vietnam
Designed in a flamboyant style, it was entrusted to the architects Ernest Guichard, Eugène Ferret and Félix Olivier. The construction of the first theatre in Vietnam was completed in 1900 after two years of work.
The building was recognisable by a beautiful richly decorated facade, inspired by the Petit Palais Museum inaugurated the same year in France. You can admire its typical architecture which reminds us of its great French sisters at the end of the 19th century, notably with sculptures and bas-reliefs that adorn the exterior and interior with notable refinement.
The place had undergone several works following the damage borne of stormy weather. With the 1955 renovation, the building housed the National Assembly of the South Vietnamese government.
A favourite place for important events in Ho Chi Minh City
It was from the reunification of the country in 1975 that it rediscovered its first function as a space for professionals and artistic amateurs. On the occasion of Saigon’s 300th anniversary, the city undertook a major restoration in 1998, striving to revive its charm of yesteryear. The public thus found the decorations of almost a hundred years ago, ranging from meticulous bas-reliefs to statues of stone art museums.
Composed of a ground floor and two very well-equipped floors, the theatre is capable of accommodating up to 800 people. Attending a concert in this beautiful colonial building or simply enjoying a historic and architectural monument which, with others famous places nearby, are at the origin of the reputation of the pearl of the Far East, is totally worth it.
If you love architecture or history, don't forget to pass by another French heritage nearby, the Hotel Continental, the oldest hotel in Saigon and the country. Let’s take the opportunity to spend a night in the prestigious place which in its time lodged great political and cultural figures from around the world.
Saigon Opera House Program
The Saigon Opera House stands out as a place of choice to go for a high-end show that will satisfy not only lovers of contemporary art; but also traditional. In addition to concerts and ballets, it offers a whole range of activities promoting local culture by adopting innovative and original approaches. Please take note that there are many very good performances appreciated by travellers such as AO show, Lang toi or My village, Suong Som or Morning mist and Teh Dar with which, the Saigon Opera House is always full.
At nightfall, the Saigonese take pleasure in sitting in front of the Opera House to rest or feast on iced milk coffee on the surrounding sidewalks.
Saigon Opera House address
It is located at No. 7, Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City