Tourism: Tortoise’s In Town

Located in the heart of HCM City, the Tortoise Fountain is among the city’s well-known historical sites

Tortoise Fountain is the name of a square in central HCM City. It is located at the intersection of Pham Ngoc Thach, Vo Van Tan and Tran Cao Van streets, approximately 200 meters from the Notre Dame Cathedral.

The structure was originally built in 1879 and had gone through many alternations ever since. Initiated by the French, the 20-meter-high water tower was built in the center of the traffic circle. The water tank of steel with a capacity of 100 cubic meters was supported by eight pillars, placed in octagonal shape. The top of the tower was layered with tiles. The overall structure reflected the Pearl of the Far East design, which was the name of Saigon at the time, and can be seen on postcards dated in the late 19th century.

In 1921, the tower was destroyed. The reasons are unclear since all official and architectural documentations were lost. Records were not well kept at the time. They originally were in the possession of the Admiralty, then transferred to the General Governor’s Palace, to the Ministry of Public Works, and finally to the City Hall. It is likely that they were destroyed in transport or eaten away by moth in storage. The speculations for the abolition of the tower are either the structures were broken but repairs were unable to be made since the plans were lost or that the structures was too small to meet the demands of the citizens.

Once the tower was gone, the Council of Saigon City repaired the traffic circle and named it Marechal Joffre Square. In 1927, a Memorial to the 1914-1918 World War Dead was erected at the center of the square.

In 1972, the Vietnamese government rebuilt the intersection to commemorate allied countries that provided aid for the then South Vietnam. In the center of the fountain, stand five 20-meter-high upright pillars, reminiscence of five arms with five palms holding a globe. Beside the five pillars is a copper turtle. On its back was a stone stele which was engraved with the names of aiding countries. There was also a set of unique 30-step staircase, in which there is a resting platform after every 10 steps, on the south side of the fountain’s pool, leading up to an offering table for Heavens and Earth, which was five meters above ground level. Unlike the offering altar of Nam Giao in Hue, the table of the Tortoise Fountain in HCM City was neither round nor square but elliptical, with two axes being 12 and about seven meters long. The table was sustained by one main pillar and eight supporting pillars. On it, there was a one-meter-high altar, which faced the north.

When completed, it was not well received. Saigonese felt the five pillar hands turned upward as though to beg for aid. This was not believed to be a work of pride. Thus, the government transformed the five arms with five hands into a 25-petal flower. This became the structure seen today.

In early April of 1976, or 11 months after Saigon was liberated, an explosion took place at the traffic circle at 8 p.m., killing one young man and injured four others. The copper tortoise was damaged. According to HCM City Police, this incident was a political sabotage and the dead young man, himself, placed the dynamite on the tortoise.

Today, the tortoise no longer exists but the name Tortoise Fountain still remains. This site is particularly lively at night. It is surrounded by local coffee shops and street vendors. It has a reputation for great ice cream, especially coconut flavor. Around the lake, there are many age-old golden oak trees. They have fruits with two wings. When falling, these fruits twist and slowly land onto the ground. In the blooming seasons, these trees emit gentlefragrances throughout the area,creating poetical atmosphere for passers-by.
by TTM


tải game điện thoại - Agents for modeling - Gai xinh - Visa Vietnam - Vietnam Express Visa - Teen Teen - Tai iOnline Mien Phi - Game Java