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Fun with Old Saigon Maps (1790)

Even before the French formally occupied Saigon in 1859, they were active players in Vietnamese politics as early as the 17th century. Their influence can be seen in this 1790 map in the form of the massive citadel commissioned by Nguyen Anh.

Built in 1790 to solidify his power in the Gia Dinh, Nguyen asked the French to design his octagonal fortress. Ironically, 69 years later, the French burned the citadel to the ground as they colonized and pillaged the country.

You can view a larger version of the map here.


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- Saigon’s Citadel - Part 2

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