Imperial City and Forbidden City: Hue

Complex of Hue Monuments, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Hue Flag Tower, Hue Capital Citadel
Although the central sector and the palaces of the last Vietnamese monarchy were destroyed in the war with France, Vietnam War and natural disasters, there is now trying to renovate the buildings in the World Heritage property and restore the atmosphere of court life, art, dining and other royal cultures.
Hue capital establishment concept is 3 tiers citadels.

Hue Imperial City and Forbidden City is located in Hue Capital Citadel was founded in 1804 by Emperor Gia Long the first king of Nguyen Dynasty as the core of Geomancy, including Perfume River as the guardian and Ngu Binh Mountain as front screen. Inside the Imperial City, which was the administration centre also had the inner court in the Forbidden City for the Queen Mother, queen, concubines and female servants. The emperor's harem which men were not allowed except the emperor, little princes and eunuchs.

Hue Imperial City has rectangular design strong walls, surrounded by moats inside where draw water from Perfume River. There are four entrances; across from the main entrance Ngo Mon Gate is a large ground and Flag Tower on the three-tier base. During the Nguyen Dynasty era, Imperial City was consisting of more than 100 buildings.

UNESCO: Ngo Mon Gate, Hue Imperial City
The tour is divided into three groups I have visited the following places.

Imperial City
Started from Ngo Mon Gate cross the bridge and fish pond to Thai Hoa Palace where was used for great court meetings, inside is the throne adorned with red and gold lacquered frameworks. In the glorious days this Imperial City were consist of internal affair offices, precious objects warehouse, princes' residences and living area.

After Restoration, Hue Forbidden City Gate
Ruin in Hue Forbidden City
Queen Mother's Apartment, Hue Forbidden City
Forbidden City
The Queen Mother's residence in a complex that contained about 20 buildings has been restored partly by reference in the form of Emperor Bao Dai the last king of Nguyen Dynasty and Vietnam. Some of the arch gates were repaired beautifully.

There were several departments such as king's palace, queen's apartment, king's kitchen and royal theatre.

The Tho Mieu Temple, Hue Imperial City
Giant Urn in front of Hien Lam Pavilion, Hue Imperial City
Temples and Worship Palaces
Vietnamese have paid respect and worshipped their ancestors by Confucian principles seriously. Historic buildings and places of worship in this section were devoted to the former kings of the dynasty, such as The To Mieu Temple and Hien Lam Pavilion.

In front of Hien Lam Pavilion lined with giant metal urns decorated by Vietnamese traditional patterns, such as dragon, phoenix, turtle, pond, tree and rocks, which were made in accordance with the disposition of the emperor altars in To Mieu Temple. Really amazing that the pieces of art since Emperor Minh Mang era, the second king of the dynasty could be withstand sun, rain, natural disasters and wars to this day.

Hue Imperial Life
Although most of the historic edifice were destroyed and restoration, which continues to take a long time, but Imperial Life which I heard from the tour guide is so colorful and charming. There are many flavors and filling the atmosphere pretty well. In addition in the Imperial City, there are royal recipe food and royal performance for visitors to see and enjoy them. Unfortunately, I went with tour group could not have enough time to visit.

Apart from Hue Imperial City and Forbidden City, UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hue Monument Complex also includes the Royal Tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors also. They are located in the Hue outskirts area along the east side of Perfume River, opposite of Hue old city, which is mentioned in the next article.

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