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ARCHITECTURE & ICONOGRAPHY

 

 

 

  Reunification Palace (dragon carpet)

 

Vietnam

This huge Burgundy carpet in the main hall on the first floor of the Reunification Palace (fig.) in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Norodom Palace and also known as Independence Palace, is decorated with four golden dragons.

 

Each of these dragons has pows with five claws, reminiscent of ancient China, where it around the 13th century AD was decreed that the gold-coloured, five-clawed dragon (fig.), was reserved as the emblem of the Emperor.

 

  Reunification Palace (dragon carpet)

 

  Reunification Palace (dragon carpet)

 

In the middle of the carpet is a circle with at the centre a Chinese symbol for bat (fig.), which in Mandarin is called fu (fig.) and hence a homophone of foo, which means ‘good luck’. Around it are two phoenixes (fig.), the ancient Chinese symbol of the Empress, which together with the dragon represents imperial power (fig.).

See also TRAVEL PICTURES.