Hue’s citadels, palaces and tombs

(VEN) - The city of Hue in the northern central province of Thua Thien Hue is the convergence of cultural quintessence, an ASEAN Culture City and favorite visitor destination.
hues citadels palaces and tombs
Pavilion of Edicts (Phu Van Lau) in Hue

Capital Citadel of Hue: Over 200 years old, it still retains most of its original structure. Located on the northern bank of the Huong River (Perfume River), it was built in the reign of Emperor Gia Long and Emperor Minh Mang. The complex of royal architecture represents and demonstrates the power of the Nguyen monarchical dynasties. The Capital of the time, the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple City are clustered together in this complex, symmetrically placed along a longitudinal axis facing south. In 1993, UNESCO recognized it as a World Cultural Heritage site.

Pavilion of Edicts (Phu Van Lau): This is where the Nguyen Dynasty used to publicize documents such as the King’s decrees or the results of national and court examinations. National congratulation ceremonies were also held in Phu Van Lau with the participation of kings, mandarins and residents.

Huyen Tran Cultural Center: About 7km to the west of the city, this is not only the spiritual center of the area but also a tourism attraction of historic significance, one of the most important milestones of Vietnam’s southward expansion under the Tran Dynasty more than 700 years ago. It is famous as a sanctuary where pilgrims expressed love and gratitude to Princess Huyen Tran of the Tran Dynasty.

Nam Giao Esplanade: Built in 1806 in the reign of Emperor Gia Long, this is where Nguyen kings used to come to show their respect and to worship the heaven and the earth. The esplanade consists of three terraces. The first symbolizes man; the second represents the earth, while the third epitomizes heaven.

Tomb of Gia Long: Located 17km from the city of Hue, it was built in 1814 within a complex of 34 mountains, of which Dai Thien Tho is the largest. The tomb is a wonderful blend of ancient architecture and nature, creating a poetic and quiet space.

Tomb of Minh Mang: The tomb is located on Cam Khe Mountain, 15km from the city of Hue. It is a standard architectural complex consisting of 40 big and small constructions, which include outer walls, a gate, courtyard, stele house, temples, lakes, pavilions, gardens and the tomb itself.

Tomb of Thieu Tri: Located 5km from the city of Hue, it is one of the most beautiful constructions of the Nguyen Dynasty. The tomb is located in the middle of a pine forest, with about 50 constructions, including the Minh Khiem Theater, considered the oldest theater in Vietnam.

Tomb of Khai Dinh: Built between 1920 and 1931 it houses the remains of Khai Dinh, the twelfth Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. The tomb is a blend of Western and Eastern architecture.

Thien Mu Pagoda: The pagoda lies on the bank of the Perfume River, and is about 5km to the west of the city. It was built in 1601 by Nguyen Hoang, the ruler of the southern part of Vietnam. The pagoda has undergone many restorations. The pagoda has long been one of the most attractive destinations for tourists because of its harmonious beauty blending sublime nature and ancient architecture.

Ngoc Son Princess Garden House: A garden house built in 1921 in the reign of Emperor Khai Dinh. On an area of 2,370sq.m, it was designed to worship Princess Ngoc Son, and to store antiques and documents.

Gia Hoi-Chi Lang Old Quarter: Established after the Nguyen Dynasty moved the capital from Hoa Chau to Kim Long (1636) and Phu Xuan (1687), it features ancient Hue-style houses, many of which have survived two centuries and many historical ups and downs.

Hue National High School: The first high school in Vietnam, known as Quoc Hoc (national high school), it was built for children from royal and noble families. Established in 1896, Quoc Hoc today is still a well-maintained French colonial-style construction. Several Vietnamese political leaders have studied there, including President Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen Giap. Many of the school’s students were awarded prizes in international competitions.

An Dinh Palace: Located on the bank of An Cuu canal, An Dinh Palace used to be the private residence of Emperor Khai Dinh. After the Revolution of August 1945, the family of Emperor Bao Dai moved from the Imperial Citadel to live in the An Dinh Palace. The palace includes unique architectural works, such as the Trung Lap Pavilion and Khai Tuong House.

Hoa Quynh

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