Discovering the Lord Island Palace, a Place Preserving the Historical Values of the Nation

July 18, 2020 7 mins to read

The Lord Island Palace is a highly renowned tourist destination in Con Dao. This place provides visitors with an overview of the nation’s glorious history and the sacrifices of revolutionary soldiers against the extravagant lifestyle of the lords of the island. Let’s explore this remarkable destination together with!

Con Dao is gradually becoming a fresh highlight and has recently been dubbed a paradise for tourism. This place possesses pristine and majestic nature, with crystal-clear beaches and smooth white sand that captivates the hearts of travelers. Moreover, this island also bears the imprint of national history through its name, “hell on Earth,” and through famous landmarks like the Con Dao Prison 914, the Tiger Cage system, and the Phu Son prison camp… Among them is the Lord Island Palace, one of the must-visit destinations in Con Dao. It used to be the residence of many generations of island lords, containing numerous mysterious stories. If you want to delve into our ancestors’ past, include this destination in your travel guide!

1. Introduction to the Lord Island Palace

1.1 Where is the Lord Island Palace located?

Address: Ton Duc Thang Commune, Con Dao District, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province.

The Lord Island Palace, also known as the Grand Lord Palace or Provincial Chief’s Palace, was the residence and workplace of the lords of the island in the past – those who headed the ruling apparatus in Con Dao. This place possesses an ancient space with a robust architectural style following the traditional French design and still retains many ancient artifacts. The Lord Island Palace is the headquarters of the entire Con Dao prison system. It is also the birthplace of orders, schemes, and conspiracies aimed at imprisoning and exterminating prisoners.

The Lord Island Palace embodies two contrasting lifestyles: the royal lifestyle of the lords and the extreme hardship of revolutionary prisoners. When visiting the Lord Island Palace, you will witness where tens of prisoners had to toil to serve the luxurious life of the lords and feel even more compassionate for those who remained here forever. It can be said that the Lord Island Palace today is a historical relic denouncing the brutality and cruelty of the French colonialists and serves as an extensive library of Con Dao with many images and documents still preserved intact.

1.2 The formation history of the Lord Island Palace

Construction of the Lord Island Palace began in 1862 and was completed in 1876. This place has gone through 53 generations of lords spanning 113 years, including 39 lords during the French colonial period and 14 lords under the American empire. The total area of the Lord Island Palace is about 1.86 hectares, including the main building, auxiliary houses, gardens, and other construction items. The main gate of the Lord Island Palace overlooks the area of Bridge 914.

In previous times, under the administration of the lords, the Lord Island Palace became the headquarters to manage the entire prison system and the workplace of the ruling officials on this island. This was where high-ranking officials made orders, decisions, and discussions of schemes and conspiracies to imprison and eliminate prisoners in the prisons.

After many reigns under the rule of Lord Andouard of France, through brutality and cruelty towards prisoners, this beautiful island became associated with the nickname “hell on earth.” Later, those prisoners themselves executed this lord at his stronghold in 1919.

The lords enjoyed a luxurious life like kings at the Lord Island Palace. In stark contrast to the lords’ lives were the miserable, impoverished, and brutally oppressed conditions of revolutionary prisoners. Prisoners often had to toil in the palace’s gardens and serve all the needs of the lords.

1.3 When is the best time to visit the Lord Island Palace?

According to the travel experience from A to Z in Con Dao, you can visit the Lord Island Palace at any time of the year. However, the ideal time is from December to April of the following year because Con Dao is in the dry season, so the climate here is often sunny and relatively dry, perfect for sightseeing and exploration. Or if you prefer more remarkable, more comfortable weather, you can visit from May to November. But keep in mind that sudden rain showers may somewhat affect your trip!

2. Discovering the unique features of the Lord Island Palace today – A vast library of artifacts and historical materials

In 1945, the Lord Island Palace became the first place to establish a revolutionary government in Con Dao and witnessed the complete liberation of Con Dao in 1975. Since liberation, this place has been listed as a historical relic of Con Dao and has become the main exhibition hall.
When visiting the Lord Island Palace, you will witness firsthand the torture methods used on prisoners or the arduous tasks to serve the needs of the lords. The Lord Island Palace is considered a piece of valuable historical evidence, becoming a library with many materials about the images, artifacts, and notes preserved to show the heinous crimes of the lords. There are four main themes displayed at the Lord Island Palace and a special exhibition displaying photos of Con Dao prisons from 1908 to 1916 that you can visit. The exhibition room somewhat provides tourists with clear evidence of the sacrifices of prisoners and the countless atrocities committed by the lords against the revolutionary soldiers and patriots of Vietnam in Con Dao prisons, with about 700 images and artifacts on display.

When visiting the Lord Island Palace, you will surely be overwhelmed by its storage of about 6,000 records of political prisoners throughout the periods in Con Dao, along with documents and images collected by the relic management board from 2000 until now. These are precious pieces of evidence that condemn the monstrous crimes during the resistance period of the lords of the island.

In conclusion, exploring the Lord Island Palace is not just a journey through time but also an opportunity to honor the resilience and spirit of those who endured hardship and fought for freedom. As we delve into the rich history preserved within its walls, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by countless individuals in the pursuit of justice and independence.

Through meticulous preservation efforts and informative exhibitions at the Lord Island Palace, visitors gain insight into the complexities of Vietnam’s past and the enduring legacy of its people. Thanks to platforms like, which facilitate our understanding and appreciation of such significant cultural landmarks, we can continue to learn, reflect, and advocate for preserving our collective heritage.

So, whether you’re a history enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or someone seeking to broaden your horizons, a visit to the Lord Island Palace promises an enriching experience that celebrates the resilience and triumph of the human spirit.

Dinh chúa đảo - địa danh nổi tiếng ở Côn Đảo

Palace of the Island – famous landmarks in Con Dao (photo St)

Không gian rộng lớn thể hiện sự xa hoa của chúa đảo ngày xưa

Ample space represents the generosity of the ancient island lord (Image St)

Danh sách các chúa đảo từ năm 1954 - 1975

List of lords from 1954 to 1975 (Photo Collection)

Cổng dinh chúa đảo

Island Palace Gate (Photo Collection)

Phía trước dinh chúa đảo

In front of the island lord (Photo St)

Nơi ở của các chúa đảo thời kháng chiến

Residence of the island princesses during the resistance war (Photo Collection)

Bức ảnh dinh chúa đảo thời xưa

A picture of an ancient island palace (Photo Collection)

Sân vườn - nơi xuất hiện hình ảnh của những tù nhân lao động khổ sai thời xưa

The garden – the place where old prisoners of labor appeared (Image Collection)

Cầu Tàu đối diện dinh chúa đảo

Pier opposite the island palace (Photo Collection)

Dinh chúa đảo nay là phòng trưng bày di tích lịch sử đảo

Island Palace is now a gallery of island historical sites (Photo Collection)

Dinh chúa đảo là bộ máy đầu não cai quản tù nhân ở nhà tù Côn Đảo

The Island Palace is the brain-machine that governs prisoners at Con Dao Prison (Photo Collection)

Chúa đảo là người cai quản, điều khiển toàn bộ đảo, nhà tù

The God of the Island is the ruler and controller of the whole island and prison (Photo Collection)

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