Archaeological dig to assess downgraded Hue temple complex

By Vo Thanh   August 10, 2021 | 07:44 pm GMT+7
Archaeological dig to assess downgraded Hue temple complex
Thai To temple complex where nine Nguyen Dynasty lords are worshiped is seen from above in Hue, April 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has allowed archaeological excavation inside Hue’s Thai To temple complex, a shrine to nine former Nguyen Dynasty lords.

Hoang Viet Trung, director of the Center for Conservation of Hue Monuments, which manages Hue Imperial Citadel and other Nguyen Dynasty relics, said the center has been granted a license to assess the current state of the complex prior to restoration.

The excavation will last from Tuesday until Oct. 10, incorporating 950 square meters and nine holes.

The ministry has asked that the center protects the stratigraphy (order and position of layers of archaeological remains) and not publish conclusions pertaining to the dig without permission from the ministry and the Cultural Heritage Department.

Artifacts collected during the excavation process must be temporarily kept at Hue Royal Antiquities Museum for preservation, the ministry has ordered.

The main temple of the Thai To complex has been downgraded. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.

The main temple of the Thai To complex has been downgraded. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.

The temple complex, in the southwest corner of Hue Imperial Citadel, was built in 1804 under King Gia Long of Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam's last royal family (1802-1945).

The complex covering an area of 15,000 square meters, is a shrine to nine Nguyen lords, ancestors of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors, and is the biggest structure in the citadel, a UNESCO heritage site.

In 1947, much of the complex was burned down. In order to have a place to worship the Nguyen Dynasty lords, in 1971, Queen Mother Tu Cung and Prince Bao Long, son of Vietnam's last king Bao Dai, contributed to rebuilding the complex in the same location.

However, many parts of the complex have seriously deteriorated, prompting a massive restoration drive.

 
 
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