Imperial Citadel (Dai Noi)
Built in the early 19th century, circa 1804, by thousands of labourers at the request of Emperor Gia Long, the Imperial City and Citadel was a massive structure, large enough that a 10 kilometer moat was constructed to surround and protect it. Modelled after the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Imperial City and Citadel was designed to be the royal quarters of Emperor Long. When the last Emperor of Vietnam stepped down the structure had expanded to include hundreds of rooms. While quite grand in scale, many of the buildings were in a state of disrepair due to typhoon and termite damage. In 1968 the Imperial City and Citadel were bombed by American forces during the Vietnam War, demolishing most of the buildings. In 1993 the Imperial Citadel and the collective ‘Complex of Hué Monuments’ was declared a UNESCO site, and some of the buildings have been restored for historical preservation.
An Dinh Palace
The architecturally stunning An Dinh Palace was the residence of the Nguyen dynasty and was built in early 20th century and is one of Hue’s best known historic sites, although it isn’t often included on mainstream itineraries. The An Dinh Palace, built in the typical style, was restored several years ago and a new project to fully restore the surrounding three storey buildings will return the An Dinh palace to a primary tourist spot.
Situated on the bank of An Cuu River in Hue City’s Phu Nhuan ward, the An Dinh Palace was commissioned by King Dong Khanh and at the time called Phung Hoa, as a gift for the Crown Prince Nguyen Phuc Buu Dao. When the Prince was made King in 1916 the palace took on the current name and passed through the family until the palace was presented to the Revolutionary government. Sadly the palace fell into severe disrepair until 2001 when the palace underwent extensive restoration in readiness for hosting the 2002 Hue Festival. An Dinh Palace also hosted the 2004, 2006 and 2008 Hue Festivals.
Following the next stage of restoration, ancient artefacts and works of art that portray the Nguyen Dynasty’s royal lifestyle will be displayed. This project is a part of the drive to preserve and restore the history, culture and architecture of Hue City. Earlier this year the center unveiled a 3D project which shows the heritage and architecture in its full glory.