Capital of the Province of Thua Thien-Hue
Complex of Hué Monuments
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.
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 glacis of 2,235 m. per side. The architecture is charged with symbols related to Oriental philosophy and Vietnamese tradition, and the natural landsape 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.
Criterion (iv): The Complex of Hue Monuments is an outstanding example of an eastern feudal capital.
- 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 the status of capital 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 major destruction over the course of their history, particularly in 1885, 1947 and 1968.
Mr. Vo Le Nhat
Mayor of Hue City
Hue City People’s Committee
24 To Huu Street
Hue City, Vietnam
+84 234 3822550