19th century Vietnam through French photographer’s lens

Precious photos featuring life in Vietnam at the end of the 19th century by a French photographer are currently on display in Hanoi.

The photo collection, themed “Ky uc ve Viet Nam 1895-1896” or Memories of Vietnam 1895-1896, by Armand Rousseau is on display at the National Library of Vietnam. The exhibition will last until May 23.

An engineer, Armand Rousseau contributed to the construction of several famous works in Brest City.

He died in 1896 during his short trip to Indochina.

The photo collection featuring Vietnam at the turn of the 19th century was among the few things he left to his family. The photos featured daily life in several areas in Vietnam including Hanoi, Ha Long, Haiphong, Tuyen Quang, Hue, Danang, Nha Trang, Phan Thiet, Saigon-Cho Lon, My Tho, Tay Ninh and Ba Ria – Vung Tau.

Vietnam through Armand Rousseau’s lens:

Chân dung của những người bản địa
Portraits of indigenous people

Một gia đình người miền Nam
A family in southern Vietnam

Xe người kéo ở miền Bắc

Palanquin in northern Vietnam

Xe người kéo ở miền Bắc
Ox cart: there were no four-wheeled vehicles in northern Vietnam at that time. The main roads in the country were very small and curved, which were suitable for carrying things by hand. Ox carts were considered a heritage in southern Vietnam. Hanoi still used human-powered vehicles.
Chợ Lớn thế kỷ 19

Cho Lon Market in the 19th century

Cột cờ thành Hà Nội

Hanoi Flag Tower

Thành Hà Nội

Hanoi citadel

Thành Hà Nội

Ho Nho: French people called Hoan Kiem Lake “Ho Nho” or Small Lake in order to distinguish it from West Lake, which they called Ho Lon or Big Lake. The first work that French people built in Hanoi was the scene around Ho Nho. The road surrounding the lake was completed in 1893

Thành Hà Nội
Lang Pagoda was built in the 17th century and is famous for its outstanding design

Phố cổ Hà Nội

Hanoi Old Quarter

Hội hè của người Việt thế kỷ 19

Vietnamese festivals in the 19th century

Một góc làng quê thế kỷ 19

A view of the Vietnamese countryside in the 19th century

Một góc làng quê thế kỷ 19

Thanh Nam – the last examination compound in Vietnam. Hanoi was no longer Nguyen Dynasty’s citadel after colonisation. Education programmes changed with more attention paid to Western study. Traditional Confucian exams moved to northern Nam Dinh Province

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