Hue, Vietnam

General Information

Regional secretariat

Administrative status

Capital of the Province of Thua Thien-Hue

Complex of Hué Monuments

Registration Year


Historical function

Imperial capital

Location and site

In central Vietnam, 80 km. South of the 17th parallel, the Hue monuments are situated 10 km. from the China Sea. Close to mountains and hills with rich vegetation, its citadel was established on a narrow plain at the edge of the Perfume River.

Urban morphology

The plan of Hue was based on the design of Nguyen Van Yen. The elements that make up this urban ensemble – the Fortified City, the Imperial City, and the Purple Forbidden City – are laid out according to a principle based on a series of successive enclosures. A north-south axis ensures the symmetry of the buildings and their functions. Outside the city, other monuments are in harmony with the natural site: the tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty are significant works of architecture and landscape architecture.

The urban fabric is dense with monuments. Three successive fortification walls structure the ensemble. The first, in Vauban style like the coastal bastion, is surrounded by berms, moats, and a glacis of 2,235 m. per side. The architecture is charged with symbols related to Oriental philosophy and Vietnamese tradition, and the natural landscape is also embodied with identical meanings. Brick is the principal construction material, but the palaces and the places of worship also have wood structural elements and yellow and blue glazed tiles. Gardens and orchards are integrated into this monumental context.

Registration criteria

Criterion (iv): The Complex of Hue Monuments is an outstanding example of an eastern feudal capital.

Historical reference

  • A first capital, the small citadel of Phu Xuan erected by the Southern Nguyen Seigneurs in 1687, occupied the site of the future imperial city of Hue. This citadel inherited capital status from the Kim Long citadel, which had been constructed a few km. upriver in 1636. The Phu Xuan citadel was still the official capital of Annam during the political troubles at the end of the 18th century, including the assaults of the North in 1774 and the domestic crisis (the revolt of the Taysons) in 1786. Its destruction at the end of the 18th century has left few traces.
  • Inguyen Anh, whose regal name was Gia Long, founded the new citadel of Hue in 1802. Hue became the imperial capital of a unified Vietnam for the first time in two centuries and retained this status until 1945. The human and material resources of the entire kingdom, which extended from the Chinese border to the Gulf of Siam, were rounded up for construction over a period of over three decades. It was during this time that Vietnam reached the peak of its power.
  • The monuments of Hue have been subjected to significant destruction over the course of their history, particularly in 1885, 1947, and 1968.




Mr. Vo Le Nhat

City Mayor (Chairman of Hue City People’s Committee)
Hue City People’s Committee

24, To Huu road, Xuan Phu ward
Hue, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam

842 343 822 550
[email protected]

Ms. Linh Dinh

Hue City Center for International Cooperation

1 Le Hong Phong street, Phu Nhuan ward
Hue, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam

(+84) 0963978555
[email protected]