Tuy Ly residence
Update5/19/2021 2:29:13 PM
Under Nguyen dynasty (1802 - 1945), many “phu” and “de” (residences) of royal family members and mandarins were constructed. While princesses stay in "de" after getting married, "Phu" is the place where princes live. These residences are located in Hue Imperial city and the outskirt of Hue city. The most crowded areas are wards namely Kim Long, Vy Da, Gia Hoi and the An Cuu riverbank. Like garden houses, every residence is planned and constructed in traditional architecture.
Tuy Ly residence (Photo: internet)
Tuy Ly residence (Photo: internet)

Located in 140 Nguyen Sinh Cung street (Vy Da ward, Hue city), Tuy Ly is one of the most typical residences. Its official name is "Tuy Ly Vuong Tu" (literally the worship space of Tuy Ly Vuong) as written in the horizontal lacquered board hung at the main house. However, it is commonly known as the three-door residence as there are 1 main door and 2 sided doors at its facade. Tuy Ly Vuong, the 11th son of Emperor Minh Mang (1820 - 1840) was born in 1820. His real name is Nguyen Phuc Mien Trinh. He was also known as Khon Chuong or Quy Trong (courtesy names), Vy Da or Tinh Pho (art names). The noble title "Tuy Ly Vuong" was conferred on him later. Being famous for composing poems at the age of 13, he was called “the prince of poets”.

Tuy Ly Vuong was assigned to manage Ton Hoc Duong, a school for children from royal families only in 1851 and "Huu Ton Chanh" in 1865. These are important positions in Ton Nhon Phu, a royal management unit.

When Emperor Tu Duc passed away in 1883, Tuy Ly Vuong was assigned to be the liaison officer to work with French protectorate. Under the reign of Emperor Thanh Thai (1889), he became the "Phu chinh than than" (a mandarin coming from royal background who is in charge of supporting the Emperor). Because of his old age, he returned to his private residence in Vy Da ward in 1897. He passed away at the age of 78 and was buried next to his mother in Duong Xuan village.

Tuy Ly Vuong and Tung Thien Vuong Mien Tham are half-brothers. Sharing the same passion for poetry, they had close relation and together founded Mac Van Thi Xa, a poem society once well-known in Hue. He composed a large number of artworks written in "chu Han" (Chinese characters) and "chu Nom" (a logographic writing system of the Vietnamese language based on Chinese). In his writings, he often mentioned moral values, his feelings for nature, family members and friends. Sometimes, he talked about noble class's lifestyle.

Regards to writings written in Chinese character, Tuy Ly Vuong composed "Vy da hop tap" - a series of 11 poems and writings printed in 1875.

In addition to poems written in "chu Nom" co-composed with other famous artists at the time, other artworks can be named are "Nu pham dien nghia tu", "Nghinh tuong khuc" and "Hoa lac ca" (co-composed with Mien Tham and Mien Buu).

Talent of Tuy Ly Vuong and Tung Thien Vuong Mien Tham was appreciated by both Vietnamese and Chinese poets. His writing career was recorded in books about literature, history and Vietnamese famous figures published dozens of years ago, including "Tu dien van hoc" (literature dictionary, 1984).

Tuy Ly residence is located in the area of 2000m2. His mother, Le Thi Ai used to live in a cottage in Tinh Pho garden. Three years after her death (1866), Emperor Tu Duc allowed Tuy Ly Vuong to renovate the cottage as a tile roofed wooden house to worship his mother. The construction was finished in the same year. Over 140 years (1866 - 2006), this "nha ruong" (wooden panel house) still exists today. The house still locates the horizontal lacquered board "Tien trieu Le tiep du tu". "Tuy Ly Vuong Tu", a three-compartment-house with two wings and double roof is the place where Tuy Ly Vuong is worshiped. Roof are decorated with pieces of ceramics, following various classic themes, especially dragon, unicorn, turtle and phoenix. In addition to the altar of Tuy Ly Vuong, many objects used in worship, photos of Tuy Ly Vuong and precious artifacts, particularly, over 150 woodblocks recording his poems are stored. There are two smaller houses called Ta vu and Huu vu where people prepared for offering ceremonies. However, only their foundations remain today. On the right of Tuy Ly Vuong's mother shrine locates a concrete house where his concubine, Nguyen Thi Luu was worshiped.

As Tuy Ly residence is highly appreciated in terms of history, culture, literature and arts, it was recognized as national relic in 1991.

Nowadays, descendants of "the prince of poets" continue to pursue poetry and arts.


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