Three Da Lat architectural relics to be restored

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Three degrading architectural relics in Dalat, the hill resort city in Vietnam's Central Highlands, will be restored at the cost of VND45 billion (US$2.17 million), the government said.

The local authorities have allocated VND15 billion for the upgrade of the Da Lat Railway Station, VND15.5 billion for the Da Lat Teachers' Training College (formerly Lecee Yersin) and VND14.7 billion for the Da Lat Juvenile Delinquents' Center.

Built in 1938, the Da Lat Railway Station was designed in the Art Deco architectural style by French architects Moncet and Reveron, although it incorporates the high, pointed roofs characteristic of the Central Highlands communal buildings of Vietnamese ethnic minorities.

The station has been left unused since the Vietnam War except for a steam-operated locomotive serving as a tourist attraction.

The Lycee Yersin was established in 1935 by municipal authorities and was recognized as being among 1,000 outstanding architectural works of the world in the 20th century by the World Architecture Community.

The school was named after Dr Alexandre Yersin (1863-1943), a Swiss and French physician and bacteriologist who is credited with "discovering" Da Lat in 1897. 

The Dalat Juvenile Delinquents' Center (currently the Lam Dong Children's House) was set up in early 1971 by the US-backed southern Vietnam regime to detain more than 600 young political prisoners, including 200 women. It was shut down in 1973 following prisoners' revolts.

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