The school was built on the site of a former squadron headquarter - a royal navy headquarters (1806 or the 5th year of Gia Long's Reign). Hue National School was founded pursuant to the royal decree dated September 17, 1896 (the 8th year of Thanh Thai Reign) and the decree on November 18, 1896 of the French Resident-Superior in Indochina.
Hue National School was founded in order to train those who would serve the feudal colonial government, so in the study curricula French was the main subject.
The conditions of the students accepted by Hue National School
- The sons of the King's relatives.
- The sons of royal families.
- The mandarins' sons.
- The students of Thanh Nhon School and Quoc Tu Giam School.
In 1915, when the decree annulling Emperor ancient exam in the province and the ancient exam of the capital in the North was issued, Hue National School was rebuilt. The rows of thatch roofed apartments were torn down and replaced by two rows of buildings, the walls made of brick, the roof covered with tiles. It was solid, and comfortable according to the western European architecture. Most of the architectures are still extant.
In 1932, the school opened many specialized classes and its name was changed into Khai Dinh Lycee. During the resistance against French Colonialists on December 19, 1946, the school was moved into two places and followed the resistance:
One branch: the 1st stage with the name "Binh Tri Thien School" was situated in Huong Khe, Ha Tinh Province.
The branch of 2nd stage school with the name "Huynh Thuc Khang School" was situated in Duc Tho, Ha Tinh Province.
The branch returned to Hue after ten years of interruption, and was occupied by colonialists as a barrack on April 29th, 1955, the school was restored and has resumed normal operation.