The Imperial City: journey to the court of the mandarins

monument
The Imperial City: journey to the court of the mandarins

Behind eight-metre-high, ten-kilometre-long walls, the Kinh Thanh Citadel stands on the left bank of Perfume River in Huê.

The construction of the fascinating Imperial Citadel began in 1805, based on the model of the Beijing citadel, during the reign of Emperor Gia Long. The Nine Canons of Deities stand guard at the threshold to this day. Everyone must go through the Meridian Gate to reach the other buildings. With its five entry points, the gate's yellow and green-tiled Five Phoenix belvedere is instantly recognisable.

Past this gate, the Bridge of Golden Waters, once reserved for the emperor, leads to the Palace of Supreme Harmony. The Forbidden Purple City, where only the emperor and his family had the right to enter, extends over the third and final wall. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993, the Imperial City has lost none of its charm. In the Royal Theatre, traditional music concerts dating back to the court of Huê are still performed.

Imperial City
Thuan Thanh
Thura Thien District
53000 Huê

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