Hue is an imperial city.
– Ancient capital built by the last Nguyen royal feudal dynasty (1802-1945)
– Famous for its poetry, ancient temples, palaces, imperial citadel, tombs of emperors of the last royal dynasty and pagodas.
– Informative and interesting: a junk ride along the quiet and romantic Fragrant River, a costumed imperial dinner accompanied by folk music, a special cuisine of Central Vietnam.
The best time to visit is from May to October.
The citadel of Kinh Thanh was founded in the early 19th century in 1804 by the first emperor of the famous Nguyen dynasty. From the very beginning, it was surrounded on all sides by a deep winding moat and exceeds 10 kilometers in length. The first fortifications were hastily made of earth, but after decades, by the forces of a huge number of people, the ramparts were turned from earthen into brick. The thickness of such walls reaches 2 meters.
Inside the Citadel was the Imperial Court – Dai Noi or Hoang Thanh, with high walls (up to 6 meters). The length of this fortification is 2.5 kilometers. Four gates in different parts of the world led inside the Imperial Court, the most famous are the Ngo Mon gates. For the emperor, a whole city was built inside, which was called the Forbidden Purple City – Tu Kam Thanh, which hid his personal privacy from prying eyes.
The strict straight 3 sides of the Citadel are closed by the fourth side of irregular shape, exactly repeating the riverbed. Moats with sharp unpredictable turns reach 30 meters wide and 4 meters deep. A military base is still functioning, which is located in the north of the Citadel in Mangka Fort. The citadel is connected to the outside world by means of 10 powerful gates with folding bridges.
Forbidden City (Emperor’s Palace) – only the Emperor and his concubines could be in this place. The exceptions were eunuch servants who performed all the necessary work around the house. The Forbidden City (Tu Kam Thanh) was razed to the ground during hostilities in 1968. Now in its place are the lands of the peasants. However, in the 20th century, the imperial library of Thai Binh Lou was partially restored, and the foundation of the Royal Theater of Duen Thi Duong built in 1826, which was later used as the National Conservatory, remained intact nearby.
Thien Mu Pagoda – not far from the Citadel, just 4 kilometers away, is almost the most famous building in Vietnam – Thien Mu Pagoda or Linh Mu Pagoda in another way. An amazing magnificent place was chosen for this Pagoda, from where you can observe the Fragrant River from a height. The Pagoda is completed by an octagonal tower 21 meters high, which is considered by the inhabitants of Hue as the most striking sign of their city. The tower consists of 7 floors, each of which is dedicated to Bedda.
The construction of the Pagoda began in 1601 by one of the Nguyen feudal lords, Nguyen Hoang, governor of the Thuan Hoa province. According to an ancient parable, the Pagoda was founded after the appearance of Fairy Thienmu, who ordered the feudal lord to start building the Pagoda in order to improve the economic situation of the country and for good luck. Over the centuries, the Pagoda was destroyed several times, destroyed, but then rebuilt. Recently, several monks and novices live in it, the number of which does not exceed 15 people. In the middle of the 20th century, the Pagoda was used to protest against the existing regime.
The Pagoda keeps many interesting documents and historical values. For example, the stele of 1715, which is located on top of a huge marble turtle, which is a symbol of longevity. On the other side of the tower, in a pavilion of 6 walls, rests the Dai Hong Chung bell of 1710 weighing 2052 kilograms, the ringing of which is heard for 10 kilometers. In the heart of the Pagoda, in a chest you can find 3 statues: Azida (Buddha of the past), Thikka – the historical Buddha (Sakyamuni), and Buddha Zilak (Buddha of the future).
One of the most popular exhibits is the car in which the monk Thich Quang Duc arrived in Saigon to commit self-immolation. This fact, captured in photography, has spread all over the world.
Dongba market. Just a few meters from the Chang Tien Bridge is the main market of the city. After natural disasters in 1986, it had to be redone in many ways, paying special attention to strengthening the structures. What to buy? Throughout Vietnam, Hue is famous for its cone-shaped hats, of various types, with many unusual designs and patterns that open up if you look closely at the layers of palm leaves. Also, the most magnificent and exquisite rice paper, drawings on natural silk are sold only on this market.