Centuries-old walls show off Vietnam’s royal power

By Duy Hoang - Hoang Thanh   March 2, 2017 | 11:18 pm PT
The Imperial Citadel in Hue welcomes Japan’s emperor Akihito and his wife Friday during their first Vietnam visit.

Hue’s Imperial City covers an area of more than 500 hectares (1,235 acres). Hue was the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 until the end of feudal Vietnam in 1945, and is on the initerary of Japan’s emperor Akihito and his wife during their first Vietnam visit, which will wrap up Sunday.


The citadel was built between 1804 and 1833, serving as a symbol of wealth and power of Vietnam’s last ruling family. The royal walls are the most popular attraction to Hue. Officials have said the citadel will open during summer nights this year for tourists who are discouraged by sunshine during the day.


The royal palace stands next to the Perfume River.


Ngo Mon, or the South Gate, is the main entrance into the citadel.


The city has special areas to hold grand ceremonies, worshipping rituals, houses of the kings’ mothers and grandmothers, as well as classrooms for princes.


The Imperial Household Department, which looked after the royal family’s properties.


The house for the king and his family in the Forbidden City is protected by walls of 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) high.


With more than 100 houses and buildings, the entire city is also well dotted with trees, gardens and ponds.


A bridge connects the royal palace with the rest of Hue.


The imperial city was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

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