Hue citadel is a walled enclosure within the citadel of the city of Hue the former imperial capital of Vietnam during the Nguyễn dynasty. The Imperial City was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and is undergoing restoration.
Famous for the poetic and charming beauty, Hue was chosen to be the capital of the Southern kingdom under Nguyen Lords’ dynasty long time ago. Additionally, Nguyen Lords decided to build a citadel complex where normal residents and royal families can live. Therefore, this grandeur architecture was planned to be built in 1803 by Gia Long and completed during 27 years from 1805 to 1832, under the reign of Minh Mang. It situated in the Northern bank of Perfume River, covered an area of 520 ha with three circles of ramparts, Hue capital citadel, Royal citadel and Forbidden citadel. At that time, Hue citadel became the most massive structure being built in modern history of Vietnam involving thousands of workers, millions cubic meters of rock and huge burden of workload. 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.
The first stop-over is the exterior circle, the Hue citadel, which started to be constructed in 1805 under the reign of Emperor Gia Long and was completed in 1832 under the sovereignty of Emperor Ming Mang. With a square shape, it is almost 10km in circumference, 6m high, 21m thick, with 10 entrances. On the top of the walls, 24 bastions are established for defensive purposes. Besides, the Citadel has an ancillary gate connecting the Tran Binh Bastion called the Tran Binh Mon (Peaceful protector Gate).
Now we get further into the second circle, the Royal citadel, also the most important part of the Citadel, which was built in 1804 but totally completed in 1833, under King Ming Mang’s reign. The Citadel, which is more than 600m long for each side with a protecting trench system around which consists of more than 100 fascinating architectural works divided into numerous sections: the Ngo Mon Gate and the Thai Hoa Palace: used for various grand ceremonies, section for placing shrines of the Kings under Nguyen Dynasty: Trieu Mieu, Thai Mieu, Hung Mieu, The Mieu and Phung Tien Temples, section of internal affairs office: Storehouse for precious objects, workshop for manufacturing various useful articles, section of the Kham Van Palace and Co Ha Garden: is where the princes studied or relaxed.
Passing through Hoang Thanh, we enter Forbidden Citadel which is behind the Throne Palace, it was reserved for Emperor and his family. Built in the early 1803 under reign of Emperor Gia Long, it was initially named Cung Thanh the in 1821, it was renamed into the today’s Tu Cam Thanh. The whole site consists of 50 architectural constructions of different sizes and 7 gates for facilitating the entrance and exit. Dai Cung Mon (the Great Palace Gate) is in the front side, only reserved for the Kings. Can Chanh Palace was the place for daily working of Emperors. Can Thanh (Emperor’s Private Palace), Khon Thai Residence (Queen’s Private Apartment) were reserved for the Queens. There are still many other sections, for instance, Duyet Thi Duong house (Royal Theatre), Thuong Thien (the kitchen for the Kings’ food), Thai Binh Lau (King’s reading room), all of which are of great architectural value, luring uncountable visitors who are interested in feudal architecture.
Hue citadel opening hours: Daily from 7.00AM – 5.30PM; from Mon – Sun
Adult’s entrance fee : 200.000 vnd/ticket (Includes Imperial City & Forbidden City)
Children’s entrance fee: 40.000 vnd/ticket (7-12 old)
Hue Citadel can be reached by tours, Motorbike, bicycle, cyclo drivers, walking