Hué, Pt. 2

Here is more of our tour in Hue. Hue was the imperial capital during the Nguyen dynasty from 1802 to 1945 (when Uncle Ho Chi Minh took power). In part one I showed pix of our visits to the tombs of Minh Mang (the second emperor) and Khai Dinh (the twelfth emperor). Ming Mang was an impressive ruler, as we shall see in visiting the imperial palace or citadel. Khai Dinh had an impressive tomb, but was not a great ruler as he basically had capitulated to the French.

Left off Pt. 1 with the mosaics in Khai Dinh’s tomb, so here’s the big picture in panos (first the burial room, then the entrance and alter that lead to it)…

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After visiting both tombs, we went for lunch (the duck rolls, eggplant, & beef in bamboo were just part of an abundance of deliciousness)…

At the citadel (or imperial palace) we came across several maps and models of Vietnam, the citadel itself, the tombs we had visited, etc…

The Citadel was originally vast, somewhat similar to the Forbidden City in Beijing. However, it was severely damaged during the war and has been only partially restored. And the rest of the Imperial Palace grounds which went far beyond the area of the citadel are now full of streets and buildings. This set of pix shows a couple to be married at the front gate building, hallways & gates, parts of buildings, koi in the lake, workers, and a painting of an elephant killing a tiger…

More of the Citadel in Hue. An other worker, several buildings, and the large moat that surrounds the entire area…

In the museum at the Citadel there were many old photographs of the people who lived at the Imperial Palace. Mandarins with long fingernails, servants & musicians, wives & concubines, animal sacrifices, the king himself, etc…

After visiting the Citadel, we went to Thien Mu Pagoda. Apparently there is a legend that an old woman soothsayer predicted a king would move to the city, and he did. Thus the pagoda was built in her honor. Now there are several other buildings adjacent that serve as a Buddhist monastery. Just a taste…

Here are some of the bonsai which we found at both tombs, the citadel, and the pagoda…

There was an art studio at the Citadel with some paintings, a theater with some large masks, an imperial costume, and another detail of a mosaic…

Speaking of art, there’s something beautiful to me about old walls. The moldy plaster, cracked paint, palimpsest bricks – the patterns, forms, time passed – the aesthetics of nature having her way with the hand of mankind…

The day’s tour finally ended with a dragon boat ride back to our hotel…

 

Study Questions:

  1. Research the city of Hué. Discuss its role in Vietnamese History.
  2. Research the Citadel in Hue. Discuss its history.
  3. Where do you find art?

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