Tourist Information: Imperial Citadel & Forbidden City in Hue
Hue Imperial Citadel is the Home of Vietnam's last Royal Dynasty, and the complex of the monument is the first UNESCO Heritage Site in Vietnam. In 1802, after Nguyen Phuc Anh founded the Nguyen Dynasty. He became the first King with tittle Gia Long, and decided Hue to become the Capital for the whole Country. In 1804, Gia Long decided to build Imperial Citadel in the present area.
The Imperial Citadel took 29 years to complete and constructed by 2 Kings of the Nguyen Dynasty: Gia Long (1802-1820) and Minh Mang (1820-1841). Area completed in 1833 and included 3 different levels of walls named: The Citadel, The Imperial City and The Forbidden Purple City.
Hue Imperial Citadel: The quare Walled Complex with 2.500m each side, served for Royal Family and Local People to live in the past and present. This is a big area with local people still living today, and surrounded by walls to protect Royal Family Members living in the middle (Imperial City & Forbidden City).
Wall surrounding Citadel area is 21m thick, 6.6m high and started in 1804 with clay, built with VAUBAN Architecture. In 1818 and 1822, Emperors Gia Long and Minh Mang order to put bricks on the outside of the wall. Perfume river used as natural moat and 2 islands (Cồn Hến and Cồn Dã Viên) in the river became 2 holy protectors for the Citadel.
The Citadel is also protected by man-made moat surrounding the wall. This helped to protect the royal family and local people living inside from the enemy. Top of the wall was placed with cannons for defensive purpose, but most of them missing (lost) in the wars. Citadel area can be accessed by 10 different gates around.
Hue Citadel is the first fortress to protect the more important areas inside with living, working and worshiping areas of the Nguyen Emperors and Royal Family Members with:
- Hue Imperial City: Rectangle Walled Area, that reserved for the Kings and Royal Family Members with Living, Working, Worshiping Areas.. Imperial City of Hue is located in the middle and protected by Hue Citadel, and to protect Forbidden City in the Middle. Read More >>>
- Hue Forbidden City: a place surrounded by 320m x 320m Wall, reserved for Kings; their Queens, Wives, Concubines and Eunuchs to live and work everyday. Forbidden City of Hue is located in the middle and protected by Hue Imperial City and Hue Citadel. Read More>>>
During the French War and Vietnam War, Hue Citadel became the battlefield and was seriously destroyed by Bombs, Guns and Cannons (1947 and 1968). Evidence of the wars are still remain with ruins and bullet holes on the original walls. It also witnessed many crimes and casualties of wars like the massacre of Tet Offensive in 1968.
The Tet Offensive was also considered turning point of the Vietnam War when Viet Cong claimed they won the war. Hue Citadel is one of the most remarkable sites of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Hue and Vietnam, and now it needs the work of restoration because of destruction in the French War and Vietnam War.
- Nguyen Dynasty - the last Royal Family in Vietnam with 13 Kings
- Discover Hue Royal Tombs of the Nguyen Emperors in Hue City
- Learning about Life of the Eunuchs in the Nguyen Royal Family
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