Hue Citadel is the common name of Hoang Thanh (royal citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (forbidden citadel), located on the northern bank of Huong River. If the Citadel was formerly known as the political center of the feudal Nguyen dynasty then now, the Citadel is the famous sights of Hue.
Hue Citadel is one of the relics belonging to Hue Citadel Complex, which was recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage in 1993. King Gia Long (aka Nguyen Phuc Anh) started building this massive structure in 1805. The work was completed after 27 years, under King Minh Mang’s reign.
The Royal Citadel is the second circle of ramparts within Hue Citadel. The Royal Citadel has about 100 works built on a large square area, each side is about 600m long. The main gate of the Royal Citadel is Ngo Mon facing south, which is considered a symbol of Hue Citadel.
The three remaining gates of the Citadel are Hien Nhon in the East, Chuong Duc in the West and Hoa Binh in the North. Most of the works in the Citadel are built on symmetrical axis according to the principles of internal calculation: “male left and female right” and “literature left martial arts right”. Even in the shrines, there is also an arrangement in the “left front, right after”.
The impressive point of the works in the Royal Citadel is to be built in harmony with nature, creating an airy and pleasant space when visiting. Most palaces have lakes, flower gardens, stone bridges, islands and perennial trees that shade all year round.
The Forbidden Citadel is the third circle of ramparts of the Citadel. This is the living place of the King and the Royal Family. Forbidden Citadel has 7 gates with nearly 50 different large and small architectural works.
In which there are outstanding works such as palaces (Can Chanh palace, Can Thanh palace – King’s residence, Khong Thai palace – Hoang Quy Phi’s residence, Kien Trung tower – used to be the residence of King Bao Dai and Queen Nam Phuong), reading house, Thuong Thien Duong – catering place, Duyet Thi Duong Theater etc.