Notes on the Geography of Vietnam: Colonial Hanoi: Photo 40
The main commercial street developed by the French terminated at the Opera House. It was called Paul Bert Avenue. Now it's Trang Tien. Henri Philippe Marie, Prince d'Orleans, summarized French city building in Vietnam this way: "When we Frenchmen colonise...there are certain good qualities that we carry with us where we go... In the first place, we have a knack of cleaning up a native town, and of constructing next to it something both clean and elegant...."
Perhaps he was right, but it was too little, too late for Paul Bert. A professor at the Sorbonne as well as a politician, he served in Hanoi for less than a year before dying of dysentery in 1886. (Henri-Philippe, Duc d'Orléans, Autour du Tonkin, 1894, p. 91; quoted in William S. Logan, Hanoi: Biography of a City(2000), p. 70)
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