Hue (pronounced ‘Hwey’ ) is the historical and cultural center at the heart of a modern Vietnamese society. As the political capital from 1802-1945 under the rule of 13 emperors of Nguyen dynasty their trail has left a rich city full of tourist attractions. This rightfully earns the city a position as a Unesco world heritage site.
The main reason tourists embark on Hue is because of its historic citadel first notable in my memory from watching Micheal Palin’s Around The World documentary. As a formal Imperial City is was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War by the USA. Construction began in 1804 under the emperor Gia Long.
The main attraction within the Citadel is the Imperial Enclosure also known to be a Citadel within a Citadel. Six meter walls surround lush green gardens grand golden laden ceremonial halls with a vast Chinese influence of golden dragon statues throughout. On a clear day with the beauty of the blue sky’s it is easy to reminisce of the grandeur of the Emperors ceremonies that occurred here as he sat on his elephant.
Also within the Imperial Enclosure is the famous Forbidden Purple City. This was reserved for the private life of the emperor however these days everybody is welcome. These days it is nothing more than a brick laden field of grass due to being blitzed in the War. The Tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty are further south of Hue located along the banks of the Song Huong.