Enjoy the Vietnamese kitchen: Hanoi Delights and Discover old temples: Hue Impressions

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hue impressions

See the locations on Hue Google Map

Hue train station:

Picture by ethan.crowley

Tourist boat on perfume river, picture by dom

Dong Ba Market: You can see "all the typical features of a Vietnamese market", notes Vietnam-Beauty, from souvenirs to bronze goods, from sesame sweetmeat (a typical Hue speciality) and more dishes to Phu Cam conical hats or Phuoc Tich pottery and Ke Mon jewelry. The market startet in this place in 1889 and was restaurated in 1987.

Fish vendors at Dong Ba, picture by StretchyBill

Pictures by Jos Dielis

Shopping for silk: For example at Red Silk (Pham Ngu Lao).

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Or get a dress tailored for you at Viet Silk (8 Pham Ngu Lao):

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Hue Citadel

Hue has "a city within a city within a city", notes orientalarchitecture.com (construction from 1805 to 1832). Emperor Gia Long wanted to have a copy of the Forbidden City in Peking. First thousands of workers had to dig a ten kilometers long moat and to create earthen walls. Later the walls have been replaced by a two meters thick wall. This was the outer ring of the city, the Kinh Tanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel). Inside you find Hoang Thang (Imperial Citadel). This square form had on each side more than 600 metres long and four metres high brick walls with four gates. Noon gate was reserved for the emperor. Inside was Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden purple city): Palaces and courtyards only for the Emperor and his family. This wall contained seven gates. Dai Cung Mon (Great Palace Gate) was for the emperor. Inside the wall there were Can Chanh Palace (working place of the emperor), Can Thanh (private palace), Khon Thai residence (Queens residence), Duyet Thi Duong (Theatre), Thuong Thien (kitchen) and Thai Binh Lau (reading room). All this was an "imposing spectacle", notes orientalarchitecture.com. "All of that changed in 1968, when American military forces in Vietnam, reacting to the communist takeover of Hue, ordered the city retaken. American bombs blasted the majority of the city into rubble, sparing only a handful of buildings." But this handful today gives a good impression, how splendid the old Hue has been. Find more background in vietnamtourism.com. And see, what you can still discover:

Ngan Gate: Here you enter the citadel, when you came from the Phu Xuan bridge accross the Perfume River.

Ngan Gate, picture by greenbird_ontree

Thung Tu Gate: The entrance northeast of Phu Xuan Bridge:

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Ngo Mon Gate (Midday Gate), entrance to imperial citadel: The central gate was reserved for the emperor, other people had to walk throgh the outer four gates, notes orientalarchitecture.com. The upper part of the gate is called Lau Ngu Phung (Pavillon of the fixe Phoenixes). Here the emperor appeared on special occasions.

Ngo Mon Gate, picture by namho

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View from Ngon Mon Gate towards Dinh Thai Hoa, the Palace of Supreme Harmony. Picture marhas1

Inside Ngon Mon gate you stand in front of a lotus pond. Only the emperor was allowed to cross the bridge accross the pond. Other people walked around the pond. Behind stands Dien Thai Hoa (The Palace of Supreme Harmony), where receptions took place. It houses the thrones of the 13 emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty, from Gia Long to Bao Dai.

We look from Ngo Mon Gate accross the Trung Dao bridge towards the Thai Hoa Palace.
Picture by CurryPuffy

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The throne room in Thai Hoa Palace, picture by ultrapop design

To Mieu and Hung To Mieu Temples: In To Mieu the Nguyen Emperors are honored, the lacquered altars with photos in the main gallery each honor one of them. Hung To Mieu, built in 1804, was dedicated to the memory of Emperor Gia Long's parents. You see a reconstruction from 1951.

Chuong Duc Gate. Picture marhas1

Chuong Duc Gate. Picture marhas1

Hung To Mieu. Picture marhas1

Hung To Mieu. Picture marhas1

Hung To Mieu. Picture marhas1

Hung To Mieu. Picture marhas1

Hung To Mieu. Picture marhas1

Door to To Mieu Temple. Picture marhas1

To Mieu Temple, seen through Hien Lam Cac. Picture marhas1

One of the Dynastic Urns in front of Hien Lam Cac. Picture marhas1

Hien Lam Cac. Picture marhas1

Hien Lam Cac Pavilion: Built in 1824 by Emperor Minh Mang, with two storeys the tallest building in the Citadel. It had to be restored and protected against termites (read about this). See picture by Wu.In.Vietnam

Picture by ultrapop design

To Mieu Temple. Picture marhas1

To Mieu Temple. Picture marhas1

Decoration on the roof of Hung Mieu. This and more pictures by ultrapop design.

Picture by ghislaine

Thai Binh Ngu Lam Thu Lau (Royal Reading Pavilion):

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Picture by tkxuyen

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Duyet Thi Duong (Theatre):

Picture by robertlafond2009

Hoa Binh Gate: Northouest entrance to imperial citadel

Picture by ultrapop design

Hien Nhon Gate: East entrance to Imperial Citadel.

Picture by DulichVietnam360

Hue citadel is part of the Unesco World Heritage. See also their video and documentation about the restoration work. Justinbe has a nice blog about the Citadel

Hue outside the Citadel

Cung An Dinh - An Dinh Palace: 97 Phan Dinh Phung. King Dong Khanh (1886-1888) let it build on the northern bank of the An Cuu River. King Khai Dinh (1916-1925) transforemd it into a palace with numerous building. Between 2002 and 2008 Germany funded the restoration of (wall) paintings and decorations. Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam, from 1945, when he was forced to abdicate, in 1954 he left for France, but his mother stayed here until 1975. Read more about the history and the restoration on gcrep.org

An Dinh Palace, picture by gcrep.org

picture by Lưu Ly

Picture by ThanhTam

Cung An Dinh, picture by ThanhTam

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