Dynastic Temple (The Mieu)
Hue Imperial Citadel, Hue city, VietnamTelephone
+84 54 3822 297Email More information Prices
Included Imeprial Citadel tickets: Adult/child 150,000/30,000dOpening hours
Visiting hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm every day of the week, except for official events and celebrations.
Taking up the southwest corner of the Imperial Enclosure, this highly impressive walled complex has been beautifully restored. The imposing three-tiered Hien Lam Pavilion sits on the south side of the complex, it dates from 1821. On the other side of a courtyard is the solemn The Mieu Temple (To Mieu Temple), housing shrines to each of the emperors, topped by their photos. Between these two temples are Nine Dynastic Urns (dinh), cast between 1835 and 1836, each dedicated to one Nguyen sovereign.
Situated southwest of the Citadel and facing south, The Mieu Temple is dedicated to ten Emperors of the Nguyen dynasty. Built by Emperor Minh Mang in 1821, it presents a 9-compartment main building and a 11-compartment front building, together connected in the "double" architecture with two bays on east and west sides It is roofed with yellow enameled tiles and on the ridge rests a wine gourd decorated with Phap Lam enamel.
The Mieu Temple once had seven red and yellow lacquered altars (one in the middle, three on either side).
The middle altar was dedicated to Emperor Gia Long and his two Queens (Thua Thien and Thuan Thien).
The first altar (left) was dedicated to Emperor Minh Mang and Queen.
The first altar (right) was dedicated to Emperor Thieu Tri and Queen.
The second altar (left) was dedicated to Emperor Tu Duc and Queen.
The second altar (right) was dedicated to Emperor Kien Phuc.
The third altar (left) was dedicated to Emperor Dong Khanh and Queen.
The third altar (right) was dedicated to Emperor Khai Dinh.
On January 25, 1959, at the request of the royal family and the people, a ceremony was held to admit to the temple mortuary tablets of Ham Nghi, Thanh Thai, and Duy Tan, three anti-French Emperors. So, there are today three additional reddish-lacquered altars for them in the temple.
East of the temple is the Canh Y Palace. West of it is a square-shaped chapel for the worship of the God of Earth. A wall runs all around The Mieu Temple with the Khai Dich Gate (Gate of Bringing Up) on the east, the Sung Thanh Gate (Gate of Peace Honoring) on the west, the Hien Huu Gate (Gate of Recognizable Assistance) (left) and Doc Huu Gate (Gate of Genuine Assistance) (right) at the back.
In the yard of the temple stand the Nine Dynasty Urns. About 2m in height and weighing 1900kg to 2600kg each, the urns symbolise the power and stability of the Nguyen throne. The central urn, also the largest and most ornate, is dedicated to dynasty founder Gia Long. Also in the courtyard are two dragons, trapped in what look like red phone boxes. Behind them is a wall with the Hien Lam Pavilion (Pavilion of Glorious Coming) in the middle. Left of this pavilion is the Tuan Liet Gate (Gate of Grandness) topped by a belfry and right of it is the Sung Cong Gate (Gate of Honorable Achievements) with a drum-tower atop (The temple is architecturally similar to Thai Temple).
Outside of the Hien Lam Pavilion are the Left and Right Houses, dedicated to meritorious mandarins who had devoted themselves to Nguyen Anh (later known as Emperor Gia Long) and his successors.
The Left House honors the four royal family members Ton That Man, Ton That Dien, Ton That Huy, and Ton That Hoi.
The Right House is dedicated to Vo Van Tanh, Ngo Tung Chau, Chau Van Tien, Vo Di Nguy, Nguyen Van Truong, Pham Van Nhon, Nguyen Huynh Duc, Tong Phuc Dam, Nguyen Van Man, Do Van Huu, Nguyen Van Nhon, Mai Duc Nghi, and Truong Dang Que, accepted by Emperor Minh Mang in 1827.
Farther is the main entrance to the temple guarded by two stone Kylins (mythical animals)
Many personal paraphernalia of great value which belonged to the Nguyen Emperors are kept in the temple. On each altar were once dozens of gold ingots. Fortunately enough, the temple has suffered the least damage through the numerous wars and today visitors can see it as it was originally built.
On the north side of the complex, a gate leads into a small walled enclosure that houses the Hung To Mieu Temple, a reconstruction of the 1804 original, built to honour Gia Long’s parents.