Vietnam 2018 part III - Hué


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Published: October 26th 2018
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The Imperial CityThe Imperial CityThe Imperial City

The main reason we went to Hué was to visit the former royal palace or, as it is officially called, the Imperial City.

Hué was hot - in more ways than one





When we travelled south through Vietnam we made a stop in the city Hué. The main reason we went there, and the main reason most foreigners go there, was to visit the former royal palace or, as it is officially called, the Imperial City.



This former royal palace is so large that it is not an exaggeration to call it "The Imperial City". It is in fact an incredibly large place. The main compound alone is so immense that it is hard to take it all in when you walk through it. But the Imperial City might be an even bigger area than what you see at first glance. Back when Vietnam was a monarchy and they had a royal family roaming around in Hué we think much of the rest of the old town could be defined as being part of the imperial city. When you look at a map you can see that there is a 2.5X3 km large area, more than 10 times the size of the main palace area, which looks like it is an extension of the Imperial City. But it
It is a beautiful placeIt is a beautiful placeIt is a beautiful place

It was a pleasure to walk around the Imperial City and take in the beauty without having to fight with thousands of other visitors
might also be as simple as the rest of the city being laid out in a pattern dictated by the position of the palace.



The day we visited Hué was a very hot one. So hot that we had to stop on the way from the central station to the Imperial City and cool off in a café where they had AC. Fortunately within the palace grounds there was enough shade that we survived the ordeal of walking around there. Later in the day there was also a slight rain that cooled off the air a bit so in the afternoon it was tolerable.



We have previously visited the Forbidden City in Beijing, which also used to be a royal palace. There are similarities between the palace in Beijing and the palace in Hué. Both cover vast areas and both consist of a large number of buildings that together form the palace. But having said that the differences between the two are just as big. Compared to the Forbidden City the Imperial City is less large (we refuse to use the word "smaller" here as we are comparing gigantic with super gigantic), more relaxed
DecorationDecorationDecoration

Decoration on one of the buildings
and more intimate. Also it is far less crowded. It was a pleasure to walk around the Imperial City and take in the beauty without having to fight with thousands of other visitors.



The Imperial City is an impressive site today and easily take several hours to visit. However, in the past it was much more impressive. Since the 1940-ies it did for a while suffer from neglect, a few times been damaged by nature disasters and it was also bombed during the Vietnam War. So today many of the original buildings are missing. That is a bit sad. But having said that, enough is still standing today to make us feel that this truly was one of the highlights of our vacation in Vietnam. It was a well spent day and we are happy we went there.



From here on we are going to let our photos from Hué do the talking for us because the Imperial City is better described in pictures that in words.


Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 24


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After the rainAfter the rain
After the rain

There was a rain during the day which cooled down the hot air a bit. After the clouds disappeared the light was magical
It is an incredibly large placeIt is an incredibly large place
It is an incredibly large place

This former royal palace is so large that it is not an exaggeration to call it "The Imperial City". It is in fact an incredibly large place.
Royal theatreRoyal theatre
Royal theatre

The royal family had their own theatre. A very impressive one if you ask us.
It is an impressive siteIt is an impressive site
It is an impressive site

The Imperial City is an impressive site today and easily take several hours to visit.
Gate to the Imperial cityGate to the Imperial city
Gate to the Imperial city

The outer gate to the citadel
SculptureSculpture
Sculpture

Lion? Dragon? Other?
Layout of the imperial cityLayout of the imperial city
Layout of the imperial city

There are similarities between the palace in Beijing and the palace in Hué. Both cover vast areas and both consist of a large number of buildings that together form the palace. The layout is also similar
Gate to an enclosureGate to an enclosure
Gate to an enclosure

A gate to an enclosure. Behind this gate there might be a temple
Building of unknown purposeBuilding of unknown purpose
Building of unknown purpose

When we visit places like this we can't really be bothered with trying to take in what each and every building was used for
Decoration on a roofDecoration on a roof
Decoration on a roof

This is a typical decoration on a roof of a house.
FlowersFlowers
Flowers

Flowers growing inside the Imperial City.
Ake's trademark photoAke's trademark photo
Ake's trademark photo

Ake just loves to take photos of long corridors whenever he can
Ake's trademark photoAke's trademark photo
Ake's trademark photo

There were plenty of corridors in the Imperial City. We could not even add htem all. It would have made this blog entry a bit boring
Ake's trademark photoAke's trademark photo
Ake's trademark photo

This tree lined street also looks a bit like a corridor.
This probably wasn't a vast open space 100 years agoThis probably wasn't a vast open space 100 years ago
This probably wasn't a vast open space 100 years ago

In the past the Imperial City was even more impressive than it is today. Here we believe there used to be buildings that have been destroyed or torn down
It looks like a British phone boothIt looks like a British phone booth
It looks like a British phone booth

But why did they build this diplay case/protective shelter in the shape of a British phone booth?
Map of Hué old ownMap of Hué old own
Map of Hué old own

The main palace area is the area marked with a blue dot in the lower part. When you look at a map you can see that there is an area more than 10 times the size of the main palace which looks like it is an extension of the Imperial City.
We have to show something from the rest of Hué as wellWe have to show something from the rest of Hué as well
We have to show something from the rest of Hué as well

In the end we have added some photos from elsewhere in Hué. These roosters we found in a park on the way to the Imperial City
The death memorial, aka Quoc HocThe death memorial, aka Quoc Hoc
The death memorial, aka Quoc Hoc

The death memorial, also known as Quoc Hoc, is located along the south bank of the Perfume River. (A big thanks to Lorraine B for explaining this monument to us)
How to light up a park the funny wayHow to light up a park the funny way
How to light up a park the funny way

This steel sculpture is a lamp post in a park in Hué
How to light up a park the funny wayHow to light up a park the funny way
How to light up a park the funny way

All the lamp posts are made into scultures and they have several different designs
Something for you who made it to the endSomething for you who made it to the end
Something for you who made it to the end

This flag and flag pole stands on a bastion which is part of the Hué citadel. If you look carefully you see a person standing on the platform in the lower right corner. The flag is bigger than you thought, right?


27th October 2018
After the rain

Hue
You'll have to check out our Hue blogs at some point. 2007... when we were there the streets were flooding. It made for an interesting time.
27th October 2018
After the rain

I'll have a look at your Hué blog
I'll have a look. It sounds interesting. /Ake
27th October 2018
Ake's trademark photo

Me too!
27th October 2018
The death memorial, aka Quoc Hoc

The death memorial in Hue is also known as Quoc Hoc, located along the south bank of the Perfume River, in front of the Quoc Hoc School.
28th October 2018
The death memorial, aka Quoc Hoc

Thank you for telling us what it is we have photographed
We are so lucky to have you as a follower. We walk around totally ignorant of what we see, snap photos of stuff we think look cool and when we come home you tell us what it is we saw. As you know we love that you do that! A big thanks and hugs from us. (I'll add your info to the blog) /Ake
27th October 2018
Decoration

Imperial Palace
There is something about Imperial Palaces that evoke the imagination...usually of the grandeur of ages past...but to me the symbol of extraordinary power and wealth that once must have been. Gotta be such a jewel of Vietnam. Great post.
28th October 2018
Decoration

Try to picture what life was like back in its heydays
When I travel I sometimes, too rarely I have to admit, stop and try to picture in my mind what life was like a long time ago. At the palace I did that and I tried to picture the life the royals had behind the palace walls. How they walked around in the palace grounds with their servants catering for their needs. How politicians ran around the court trying to get favors from the king or queen. How perhaps a thousand people worked in the blocks around the court supporting the palace with tasks such as laundering, butchering, baking bread etc. Thank you for your interesting comment. /Ake

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