The house which was the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le’s family – was the first lover of the French female writer, Marguerite Duras. This love later became a memoir for her to write the famous Lover’s novel (The Lover) in 1984. This work was adapted by French director Jean-Jaques Annaud into the film L’Amant in 1992.
The old house was built in 1895 by the famous Huynh (Le Huynh’s father), a famous Chinese businessman (Fujian, China) in Sa Dec, built in 1895 amidst the township. bustling along the Sa Dec river.
Initially, this is a traditional three-story house of the Southwest region, 258 m2 wide with the main materials being precious wood, and a boat-shaped roof with yin and yang tiles.
By 1917, the owner had restored the solid brick house that covered the wooden frame inside. Therefore, it looks like a French-style mansion, but inside, there is a Chinese-style architecture.
Unique architecture of ancient houses Huynh Thuy Le
It is a harmonious combination between Eastern and Western architecture. The whole house is built on an area of 258 square meters, shaped according to the traditional Vietnamese house style, the roof is yin and yang tile, the two sides are curved with the shape of a boat according to the style of Bac Bo temple to create soft features for roof. However, the architecture inside the house is cool and airy, the walls are made of solid bricks, very thick from 30-40cm, covering the structure of wooden frames, increasing the bearing capacity according to the traditional French architecture.
The house has three rooms, decorated inside according to Chinese style. The bulwark, the hope of painting the golden lipstick, carved very much like the Chinese pagoda, the middle frame with the double touches Loan Phung expressing “Loan Phung Minh Minh Minh Hoang Minh compromise” means the happiness of eternity. . The two-sided frames carved with flowers and flowers show the affluence of the family.
A unique feature in the tissues – the decoration of the building is according to the feng shui element, the symbolism of the four spirits is shown “long, unicorn, picture (bat), phoenix”, but not “long, unicorn. , rules, Phung “.
Western architecture is evident in the facade of houses, ceilings, window frames … all decorated with Renaissance-style reliefs. Arches arched according to Roman architecture. The Eastern architectural part is seen through the sharp lines of sculptures and painted with golden lipstick like birds, fruits and flowers such as bamboo, apricot, chrysanthemum, peach … The outside of the old house has ants. Western architecture blends in Chinese style.
Many types of building materials such as bricks and glass are imported from France. The floor tiles of size 30x40cm are imported from France in 1917, the back of the brick clearly indicates the place and year of manufacture. down because Mr. Huynh Cam Thuan conceived “water flows to the valley”, money will flow to his house.
Door handles are shaped like objects, the mascot keeps the house in the traditional Chinese concept.
The area of the house is not large, divided into three sections, the outer part is worshiping and receiving guests, the second part has two bedrooms on both sides creating a wide corridor leading down to the house below. Inside the house, some interior materials such as cotton tiles, stained glass are imported from France, the ceiling of the space between dragon and bat decorations … is very sophisticated.
Right at the main door of the house there is a door frame with horizontal parallel wooden round bars that can be pulled back and forth. At noon the house does not close the main door but pulls this door frame. The light and wind can still drive into the house, the neighbors who see the door frame being pulled will not call to disturb.
The middle of the house is the worship of Quan Cong and traditional beliefs showing the strength and prosperity in the life of the owner. The cover of lam, the hope of precious wood, painted with golden lipstick, elaborate carvings express the power of the wealthy families in the past.
The wooden doors, all kinds of cabinets, beds, and altars are carved very elaborately. Household items such as wine cabinets, wine racks or kettle sets, pots, lamps and gramophone record are still kept to this day.
After many ups and downs of history, until now, the house is still preserved quite intact and become a symbol of a unique architecture hundreds of years ago.
Sad love story
The old house is well known since the French novelist L’Amant Margueritte Duras was directed by Jean – Jacques Annaud. The episodes in the film have taken many tears from many people when watching. Huynh Thuy Le is the main character in this famous novel and this French female writer is also the lover of Huynh Thuy Le.
Two people happened to meet on the My Thuan ferry in 1929, when she was less than 16 years old and he was 32 years old. They had a beautiful relationship with each other. However, they faced Mr. Huynh Cam Thuan’s vehement opposition.
When Father learned, Mr. Le prostrated himself and asked his father to let him live with the girl he felt an intense love that could only come once in his life. But because of the East-West cultural difference and no tutoring between the two families, the father did not agree with the two people coming together. Love lasted only 18 months. The day Marguerite boarded a train to France, from the ship’s side she saw the distance from the familiar black luxury car of the quiet Chinese lover. Not long after that, he obeyed his father to marry the young Chinese-born wife.
Years later, after so many brides, he had the opportunity to go to Paris with his wife. He phoned her to ask only to hear her voice. “Then he told her that just like before, he still loved her, he could not stop loving her, he could never stop loving her, he loved her to death” (quote The romance novel).
With the heart and tears, the female writer wrote so the famous love story, recounting the love story over 50 years ago thought sleeping peacefully in her heart. In 1984, The Lover’s novel was published, causing great buzz, translated into 43 languages in the world and won the Goncourt Prize (the most prestigious literary award of France). In 1986, the novel was made into a movie of the same name and premiered in Vietnam for the first time in 1991.
The old house Huynh Thuy Le was not the place where the love between her and him took place with warm moments. The house of two people caught fire in each other located in Cholon. But people still want to find out where Margueritte’s lover once lived to envision an ancient space with a bold Chinese culture mixed with Western water culture, where Huynh Thuy Le lived with his young wife After pain, stop the old clothes.
It seems that at the corner of the display of the old television, the hand-operated gramophone, the antique furniture touches the iridescent nacre, people still see the lustful Chinese mistress shadowing the news or melodious love songs that soulfully live in Cho Lon’s house with a window with book leaves and blinds, where he sent back a deep, endless love until the last moment.
The current status of ancient houses Huynh Thuy Le
After Mr. Huynh Thuy Le died, his children settled abroad. The house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le’s family was requisitioned by the State, serving as the headquarters of Sa Dec Town Police Police. By 2007, the tourism industry in Dong Thap has officially “opened” to exploit the old house, serving domestic and foreign visitors.
In 2008, the old house was certified asa provincial relic, and was recognized asa national monumentin 2009. After many efforts to improve the quality of service for tourists, the number of visitors to the throne. This ancient house is increasingly crowded.
Most foreign tourists come here to know the house through the famous novel The Love. They want to come, to feel the intense breath from that short but undying love story.