Hue City - capital city and World cultural heritage
The fact that the Nguyen Dynasty selected Hue as its capital and invested in construction during one and a half centuries has left Hue city with a voluminous cultural heritage.
This includes material architecture with a complex of splendid and luxurious palaces, mausoleums, citadel and ramparts, temples and others. Moreover, an intangible heritage, consisting of precious spiritual sources, habits and customs, festivals, art branches, and traditional handicrafts, which were constructed by the great effort of generations, has given Hue city a salient and specific value, as well as its own unique identity.
This romantic land area has had to undergo many fierce wars and severe impacts of environment and climate. Consequently, the Hue monument complex was once seriously degraded. In a visit to Hue in November 1981, the General Director of UNESCO, Mr. Amadou Mahtar M”Bow had to appeal for “saving Hue” with words from the bottom of his heart, “Hue, where the national culture identity is apparent, must be saved for Vietnam and the world because Hue is a component of mankind’s cultural heritage”.
Many positive action programs have been implemented by Hue-UNESCO Workgroup and the Vietnamese authorities, in order to gradually restore and preserve the Hue monument complex since that appeal was put forth. The efforts made in the following twelve years have brought a happy result; namely that the Hue Ancient Capital City was listed in the world cultural heritages by the World Heritage Council in December 1993. It is written: “Hue’s monument complex is a typical example of the urbanization and architecture of a defensive capital. It shows the power of Vietnam’s ancient feudal kingdom in the splendid age of the 20th century.” Hue”s monument complex has become the 410 th heritage site in the list of world heritages.
THE IMPERIAL CITY
The grounds of the Imperial City are protected by fortified ramparts 2 kilometers by 2 kilometers, and ringed by a moat. The water in the moat is routed from the Huong River ( Perfume River ) through a series of sluice gates. This enclosure is the Citadel. Inside the Citadel is the Imperial City with a perimeter wall some 2.5 kilometers in length. Within the Imperial City is the Purple Forbidden City, a term similar to the Forbidden City in Beijing. Access to the innermost enclosure is restricted to the Nguyen imperial family The citadel is so large, so you should take Cyclo ride to go around. It is so hot at this time, so you should go in the afternoon.
* Hue imperial city: there are some points to visit like Thai Hoa palace - The Mieu - Hien Lam Cac - Right House - Left House - Royal Theater - Thai Binh Reading Pavilion - Dien Tho palace. You should need guide to understand the Nguyen Royal history.
THE ROYAL TOMBS:
The Royal tombs are one of the highlights of Hue, and are more like small palaces than burial grounds. The architecture of each tomb is unique, but common themes are a large stone courtyard filled with life-size statues of soldiers, horses, mandarins and elephants. Inside the grounds are a pavilion with engraved biographies of the deceased king written by his successor, and the temple where the king is buried. Ponds and moats filled with lotus flowers add life to the grounds.