Hue Imperial Citadel: A Historical and Cultural Landmark

Overview Hue Imperial Citadel

Hue Imperial Citadel has been recognized as one of the world’s cultural heritages by UNESCO. The Citadel is surrounded by two thick walls, Ngoai Thanh and Noi Thanh. Inside Ngoai Thanh is a small city that serves as the center of the Citadel, where the king and royal family lived. When visiting the Citadel at the right time, visitors will have the chance to admire the beautiful lotus flowers blooming on the surface of the lake outside Ngoai Thanh. Inside Ngoai Thanh is Noi Thanh. From the first steps to Noi Thanh in the direction of Ngo Mon gate, visitors will be awed by the great views that appear before their eyes.

Visitors’ first impression is probably the lake adjacent to the port, where carp swim and race to bite food. It’s amusing to watch the brightly colored flock of carp. Next, visitors can cross the first bridge across the lake to visit the most important architectural building, which is Thai Hoa Palace.

Other architectures inside the Citadel

This palace was only used for flanking, important banquets, and other ceremonies of the Royal family. Inside Thai Hoa Palace are magnificent gilded lacquer pillars. Around Thai Hoa Palace are other architectures:

  • Kien Trung Palace – where the mandarins prepared before flanking.
  • The Mieu – where the Nguyen Dynasty’s kings are worshipped.
  • Dien Tho Palace – the residence and daily living quarters of the King’s Mother.
  • Hien Lam Cac – the memorial to remember the merits of the Nguyen Dynasty’s kings and courtiers who had great success in the dynasty.
  • Nine Dynastic Urns – 9 copper urns that symbolize a prosperous, unified country and a dynasty that endures. Each urn has a particular name: Cao Dinh, Nhan Dinh, Chuong Dinh, Anh Dinh, Nghi Dinh, Thuan Dinh, Tuyen Dinh, Du Dinh, and Huyen Dinh.
  • Ta Vu and Huu Vu – the place where courtiers prepare rituals, the workplace of Co Mat Vien, and where competitions and banquets are organized.
  • Thai Binh Lau – where the king rests in his spare time, reads, writes, poetizes, and relaxes.
  • Duyet Thi Duong – the main stage where performers sing for the King, royal family, and courtiers in the dynasty.

Travel Guide for visiting Hue Imperial citadel

Hue Imperial Citadel is a must-visit destination for those interested in history, architecture, and culture. Here are some tips for visiting:

  • Wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved.
  • Bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen as it can get hot.
  • Consider hiring a local guide to learn more about the history and significance of the various buildings and structures.
  • Take your time and enjoy the beautiful scenery, including the lotus flowers on the lake.
  • Don’t miss the Thai Hoa Palace, which is the most important building in the Citadel.
  • Visit in the morning to avoid the crowds and the heat.


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