Saigon Central Post Office- unique architectural complex in HCM City

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The Saigon Central Post Office, at 2 Paris Commune Street opposite Notre-Dame cathedral is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful examples of French colonial architecture. 

Tran Minh Hai, a tour guide said “The Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral are the most visited sites in Ho Chi Minh City. They are recommended in virtually every guidebook. The Post Office is special because it exemplifies French architecture.”

There are many stories about the architect of the Saigon Central Post Office. Some sources say the building was designed by French architect Gustave Eiffel, the man who built the Eiffel tower and New York’s Statue of Liberty.

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Some other sources say the Post Office was designed by architect Villedieu and his assistant Foulhoux. One account says it was first designed and built by Eiffel and 23 years later Villedieu and Foulhoux rebuilt it. Notably features are its curved windows, the big clock above the main entrance.

While all the windows on both sides of the building are arched, windows in the middle hall are rectangular. Decorative lines around the windows resemble rail stations in Europe. All the pillars in the front hall of the building are intricately decorated. The main pillars supporting the second floor are decorated with reliefs made of rectangular stones engraved with the names of scientists who have contributed to civilization, particularly in electricity and communications.

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The post office is particularly impressive for its interior architecture. The building is large and spacious. The large metal arches on the ceiling and the wooden countertops along the sides are more like a train station than a post office. Two large maps are painted on either side of the entrance. One depicts Saigon and its surroundings. The other depicts the telegraph lines of South Vietnam and Cambodia. At the back of the room stands a large portrait of President Ho Chi Minh. The Saigon Central Post Office also has 38 customer counters service.

Original wall paintings, old telephone booths, old glue pots for stamps and spaces reserved for writing … the passage of time seems to have had little effect on the Saigon Central Post Office.

The Saigon Central Post Office and the Notre-Dame cathedral are the two popular tourist destinations attracting a lot of tourists every day. There time is pleasantly suspended.

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