Imperial City of Huê (World Heritage)

According to neovideogames, the imperial city of Huê is reminiscent of the feudal history of Vietnam. From 1802 to 1945 it was the capital of Vietnam and the residence of the Nguyen dynasty. More than 300 temples and pagodas demonstrate the former importance of the citadel city.

Imperial city of Huê: facts

Official title: Imperial city of Huê
Cultural monument: urban ensemble with the forbidden city, imperial city and fortified city in the style of the French fortress builder Vauban, monuments such as the citadel with the noon gate, the “pavilion of the glorious arrival” and the temple as well as five temples in the western and eastern part of the royal palace for the worship of the Nguyen Dynasty such as Thai Mieu and Dien Phung Thien
Continent: Asia
Country: Vietnam, Thua Thien-Huê
Location: Huê, on the Perfume River (Huong Giang), southeast of Hanoi
Appointment: 1993
Meaning: outstanding example of an old Vietnamese feudal city in its heyday

Imperial city of Huê: history

1802 under Nguyen Anh Huê capital of a united Vietnam
1804-31 Construction of the citadel
1809 under Gia Long construction of the tower known as the “Royal Knight” on the banks of the Perfume River
1821 Construction of The Temple
1833 Coronation of Gia Long in the “Palace of Heavenly Harmony”
1835-37 Creation of the Nine Dynastic Urns
1858 Construction of the Thien Mu Pagoda
1885 partial destruction of the imperial city
1916-25 Reign of Emperor Khai Dinh
08/24/1945 Abdication of the operetta king Bao Dai in Lau Ngu Phong, the “Five Phoenix Pavilion”
1947 and 1968 renewed, further destruction of the imperial city during the fighting against the French colonial rulers and during the Tet offensive of the Americans against the “Viet Cong”
1977 Restoration of Ha Vu with UNESCO help
1988 Restoration of Huu Vu with UNESCO help

Walled-in power symbol

Ten decades ago, the farmer should not even have set foot where he has now planted his onions. Because wherever vegetables grow today, the illustrious toes of the emperor and his court were stepped on, and it was not for nothing that his residential area was called the “Forbidden Purple City”. The innermost area of ​​the citadel of Huê could only be entered through a large, three-winged palace gate, which was also called the “Great Golden Gate”. Wide curved roofs and magnificent carvings adorned this entrance in the south of the ruler’s residence. Today nothing can be seen of it – apart from the foundations of the pillars. During the fighting against the French colonial rulers, the gate, like other buildings in the palace, was badly damaged.

But the story of the palace’s destruction did not end there, as Huê was one of the centers of the American Tet offensive. Since the “Viet Cong” resistance troops supported by North Vietnamese soldiers were able to hold out in the citadel of Huê for a particularly long time, the US army bombed the palace.

The rubble was welcome building material for the local population, so that the great void in the heart of the citadel can now serve as a vegetable field. Most of the walls remained largely intact, and the citadel was indeed a city of walls. The outer one encompassed an almost square area with a length of ten kilometers. It was six meters high and 20 meters thick, reinforced by a 23 meter wide moat. Two dozen bastions watched over them, ten fortified gates controlled access. Inside, the court officials lived and worked in houses and palaces that lined up along dead straight streets at right angles to one another.

Another wall within the citadel surrounded the palace area, also almost square with a side length of over 600 meters. The whole complex is oriented to the south, where the midday gate, restored with UNESCO funds, with its five passages marks the parade and reception area of ​​the palace. The platform of the lunch gate is part of the outer wall, on which there are five two-story pavilions connected by covered corridors. In the basement, the emperor watched the parades in front of the gate or annually announced the new calendar based on the moon’s course. The ladies of the court also followed such ceremonies, albeit on the upper floor, which was closed by panels. Through these panels they could look down without being seen themselves.

The roof ridges of the pavilions are adorned with numerous symbols of good luck such as dragons, bats, gold coins, orchids, chrysanthemums and bamboo made from broken porcelain. Behind the gate, a path of honor leads past artificial ponds to the “Court of the Rites”, in which the military and civil officials line up according to their rank when the emperor took his seat on the simple throne chair at a reception in the “Palace of Heavenly Harmony”. The wide, fully restored hall stands on a stone platform, its heavy roof is supported by ironwood columns. They are painted red, the color of luck and the south; Golden dragons as symbols of the ruler wind around the inner pillars.

In the meantime Huê has become an important attraction for tourists from all over the world and of course for the Vietnamese themselves. The imperial city is therefore being restored, as are the temples and residential palaces of the ruling family on two parallel axes. The emperor of the Nguyen dynasty has long been remembered in The Temple. All Vietnamese are particularly proud of the Nine Dynastic Urns in front of the temple. The almost two meter high bronze vessels each show images of well-known landscapes, animals, mythical creatures and plants of Vietnam, which were intended to symbolize the unity, prosperity and stability of the country. Goals that still apply today.

Imperial City of Huê (World Heritage)

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