Hue Imperial Citadel
Hue city, VietnamEmail More information Prices
Entrance 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.
Famously being one of Vietnam’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Imperial City of Hue has long been a must-see attraction for tourists visiting a hidden charm of Vietnam. The Imperial City of Hue was actually a walled fortress and palace belonged to the ancient city of Hue which was a capital city of the Nguyen Dynasty for 140 years date back from 1805 until 1945.
The grandeur architecture was planned to be built in 1803 by Gia Long – an emperor who founded the Nguyen Dynasty. During 27 years from 1805 to 1832, the Imperial City of Hue was finally completed under the reign of Minh Mang, making it the most massive structure being built in the history of modern Vietnam involving thousands of workers, millions cubic meters of rock and huge volume of burden workload. It locates on the northern bank of Huong River (Perfume River), turning South with total land area of 520 ha. The place was made UNESCO Site in 1993 with the remained buildings being actively restored and preserved after the destruction from the Vietnam War.
The Imperial City of Hue has a circumference of 10 kilometers with the height of 6.6 meters and 21 meters thick with forts being meanderingly arranged, accompanied by cannons, artilleries and ammunitions. Initially the fortress was built solely by soil, only to be replaced by bricks afterward. Surrounding the city is the complicated canal system served not only as a protection but also as a waterway with nearly seven kilometers.
There are total of ten main majestic gates leading to the Imperial City of Hue, which can be divided into two main parts excluding houses and mansions: The Citadel and The Forbidden City. The former served to protect the important palaces inside while the latter was where the emperor and the royal family stayed as well as the court’s workplace. All the typically traditional Eastern architectures including majestic palaces, tombs and museums stand accordantly together to make an utmost amusing attraction right in the heart of Vietnam.
Hue has chosen to be the capital city of the Southern Kingdom by all Nguyen Lords and officially became the capital under Tay Son's reign. For approximately 400 years, Hue has become a great landscape and architectural site.
Situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River, with an area of 500 ha and a system of three circles of ramparts, namely from outside to inside: Kinh Thanh (Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel).
The Ngu Binh Mountain in the South is used as a front screening elevation. The Con Hen and Con Da Vien (both are sand dunes) on the Perfume River are chosen as geomancy condition "dragon on the left, tiger on the right" to protect the capital city.
Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel)
This construction stared in 1805 under the reign of Emperor Gia Long and completed in 1832 under the reign of Emperor Ming Mang. Under Nguyen' reign, Kings have ordered to build ramparts, palaces and constructional works of royal. Over 200 years to now, it is still original with nearly 140 small and large constructions.
The Citadel, square in shape and almost 10 km in circumference, 6 m high, 21 m thick and 10 entrances. On the top of the walls that surround it, 24 bastions are established for defensive purposes. Besides, the Citadel has an ancillary gate connecting the Tran Binh Bastion called the Thai Binh Mon (Peace Gate).
Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel)
The Imperial City is located in the centre of the Citadel where established highest offices of Vietnam's feudalism and sanctums honouring the cult of decreased Emperors. The Citadel, also has a nearly square form, with more than 600m long for each side, built of brick 4m high, 1m thick, around which is ditched a system of protection trench. Access to the Imperial City can be made by four entrance gates. Noon Gate (Ngo Mon) is only used for the King. Royal Palace consists of more 100 beautiful constructional works divided many sectors.
- From the Ngo Mon to the Thai Hoa Palace: This is the place for setting up various grand ceremonies.
- Sector for worship shrines of the King of the Nguyen dynasty: Trieu Mieu, Thai Mieu, Hung Mieu, The Mieu and Phung Tien place.
- Sector for internal affairs office: Storehouse for precious objects, workshop for manufacturing various useful articles.
- Sectors for the Kham Van palace and the Co Ha garden: place where the princes are studying or enjoying.
Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden citadel):
Located inside the Imperial City, behind the Throne Palace, the Forbidden Purple City is reserved for Emperor and his family. Constructed early in Emperor Gia Long's reign in 1804 with brick walls 3.72m high, 0,72 m thick, about 1,230 m in circumference. Its front and back sides are 324 m each while either left and right side is more than 290 m including 50 architectural constructions of different sizes and 7 gates for facilities of entrance and exit. Dai Cung Mon (the Great Place Gate) is in the front side for Kings. Can Chanh Palace (the place for every day working of Emperors). Can Thanh (Emperor's Private Palace), Khon Thai Residence (Queen's Private Apartment) reserved for the Queen. Duyet Thi Duong house (Royal Theatre), Thuong Thien (the kitchen for the King' food), Thai Binh Lau (King's reading room)... Besides, Hue is also famous for royal tombs and temples of Nguyen Kings. Seven tombs with different aspect are not not only a wonderful arch but also combining beautiful, imposing nature and poetic of Hue.
Ancient Hue including Perfume River and Ngu Binh Mountain, palaces and citadels, tombs and temples with hundred of historic years are being embellished and recovered by material contribution of Vietnamese and International community in order to keep Hue City as cultural heritage of World.
How to get there?
There is no difficulty getting to the Imperial City. From Phu Bai International Airport, head straight to 1A Highway and you’ll be standing right next to a massive gate leading its way inside; just prepare 50.000 VND for the ticket and all there’s left for you to do is sightseeing the magnificence of the Imperial City of Hue.