Hue is not only known as the poetic and beautiful city of Vietnam, but also the old capital of this country for approximately 400 years. The Citadel Complex of Hue is among the most important relics that reflex this period of history. It is now a famous tourist attraction which has been recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The Citadel Complex of Hue is set up by Nguyen Dynasty and situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River, covering an area of 520ha and comprising three circles of ramparts, namely from outside to inside: Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel). Let’s take a tour to this not-to-be-missed attraction for a better understanding of the architectural and cultural beauty during an important phase in Vietnamese history. Tours Indochina
Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel)
The first stop-over is the exterior circle, the Kinh Thanh Hue. It was the border of the old capital city, protecting the city and its resident in the past and making the border of this architectural complex now. It consists of square-shaped wall system and nearly 140 small and large constructions like bastions and gates. The walls are about 6 meters high, 21 meters thick and almost 10 kilometers in circumference. There are 24 bastions for defensive purpose and 10 gates for entrance. The citadel is now covered with mosses, but it still maintains original and intact.
Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel)
Getting further into the second circle, we stop at Hoang Thanh, the most important part of the Citadel Complex. It is situated in the center of Kinh Thanh Hue, has a square shape of more than 600 meters long for each side, and protected by a surrounding trench system. There are 4 entrance gates to access this citadel. The most important gate, Ngo Mon Gate, was only reserved for the King in the past. Hoang Thanh is the place for highest offices of Viet Nam’s feudalism and sanctums of the decreased Emperors to operate, and is divided into various sections like: palace for grand ceremonies, shrines of the Emperors, store house for precious objects, workshop for manufacturing useful articles, studying place for princes, and more. Tours in Vietnam
Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel)
Passing through Hoang Thanh, our final destination is Tu Cam Thanh, the place where daily activities of the Emperor and his family take place. Tu Cam Thanh is a complex of about 50 constructions of different sizes such as: Can Chanh Palace (the place for daily working of Emperors), Can Thanh (Emperors’ private palace), Khon Thai Residence (Queens’ private apartment), Duyet Thi Duong house (royal theatre), Thuong Thien (the kitchen for the Emperors’ food), Thai Binh Lau (Emperors’ reading room)… It is bordered by brick walls with 7 gates for entrance and exit, with Dai Cung Mon in the front side, only reserved for the Kings.
With hundreds of buildings, palaces and other constructions, and kilometers of ramparts, all of which are of great cultural and historical value, the Citadel Complex of Hue is a great landscape and architectural site. If you ever come to Hue and visit this historical site, you will surely fall in love with this the traditional and classical side of Vietnam.
Having pretty much the same geographical location, different countries of the Mekong area has different culture, and different stories behind their past. You should visit other historical sites of other countries as well to have a wider view on this area’s culture and history.