The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Vietnamese: Lăng Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh) is located in the center of Ba Ðình Square where Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945 – establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
Construction on the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum began on September 2, 1973 and the structure was formally inaugurated on August 29, 1975. While the mausoleum’s design was inspired by Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow, it incorporates distinct Vietnamese architectural elements such as a sloping roof. The exterior of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is made of gray granite, while gray, black, and red polished stone is used in the interior. The mausoleum’s portico has the words “Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh” inscribed across it, which translates as “President Ho Chi Minh.”
In his will, Ho Chi Minh had express a wish to be cremated and to have his ashes scattered across the hills of north, central and southern Vietnam. Nevertheless, the mausoleum was built in spite of his wishes.
The structure itself is 21.6 meters high and 41.2 meters wide and its flanked by two platforms with seven steps for parade viewing. The plaza in front of the mausoleum is divided into 240 green squares separated by pathways while the gardens surrounding it have nearly 250 different species of plants and flowers from all different regions of Vietnam.
Inside the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s body is preserved in a glass case that lies in the cooled, central hall where there a military honor guard is present.