(化 in chữ Nôm) is the capital city of Thừa Thiên - Huế province, Vietnam. Between 1802 and 1945, it was the imperial capital of the Nguyễn Dynasty. As such, it is well known for its monuments and architecture. Its population stands at about 340,000 people.
Huế originally rose to prominence as the capital of the Nguyễn Lords
, a feudal dynasty which
dominated much of southern Vietnam from the 17th
century. In 1775 when Trinh
captured it, it was known as Phú Xuân
. In 1802, Nguyễn Phúc Ánh
(later Emperor Gia Long
) succeeded in
establishing his control over the whole of Vietnam, thereby making
Huế the national capital.
Huế was the national capital until 1945, when Emperor Bảo Đại
abdicated and a
Communist government was established in Hà Nội (Hanoi), in the
north. While Bảo Đại was briefly proclaimed "Head of
State" with the help of the returning French colonialists in 1949
(although not with recognition from the Communists and the full
acceptance of the Vietnamese people), his new capital was Sài Gòn
(Saigon), in the south.
In the Vietnam War
, Huế's central
position placed it very near the border between North Vietnam
and South Vietnam
. The city was located in the
the Tết Offensive of 1968, during the
Hue, the city suffered considerable damage not only to
its physical features, but its reputation as well, most of it from
American firepower and bombings on the historical buildings as well
as the now infamous massacre at
Huế committed by the Communist forces.
After the war's
conclusion, many of the historic features of Huế were neglected,
being seen by the victorious regime and some other Vietnamese as
"relics from the feudal regime"; the Vietnamese Communist Party
doctrine officially describes the Nguyen Dynasty as "feudal" and
"reactionary", but there has since been a change of policy, and
some parts of the historic city have been restored.
Geography and climate
is located in central Vietnam on the banks of the Sông Hương (Hương River), just a few miles inland from the
Biển Đông. It is about 700 km (438 mi.) south
of the national capital of Hanoi and about
1100 km (690 mi.) north of Hồ Chí Minh
City, the country's largest city formerly known as
The climate is hot and generally wet (Köppen
). Because of the angle of the central coast of
Vietnam to the prevailing winds, however, Huế, like Chennai in India,
receives most of its rainfall during the northeast monsoon between
October and December.
It is driest around March and April,
but rain may still fall. The average annual rainfall of makes Huế
one of the very wettest of Asian cities.
perhaps best known for its historic monuments, which have earned it
a place in the UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
The citadel in Hue with flag
of the Nguyen emperors was in the Citadel, which occupies a large,
walled area on the north side of the river. Inside the citadel was
a forbidden city where only the concubines, emperors, and those
close enough to them were granted access, the punishment for
trespassing being death. Today, little of the forbidden city
remains, though reconstruction efforts are in progress to maintain
it as a tourist attraction as a view of the history of Huế.
along the Perfume
River from Huế lie myriad other monuments, including the
tombs of several emperors such as Minh
Mang, Khai Dinh, Tu
Duc, and others. Also notable is the Thien Mu
Pagoda, located not far from the city centre along the
river, the largest pagoda in Huế and chosen as the official symbol
of the city.
ancient but not less important are the French-style buildings along
the south bank of the Fragrant or Perfume River, among them are the famed Quoc Hoc High School and the Hai Ba
Trung High School.
The Hue Museum of Royal
on 3 Le Truc Street also maintains a collection of
various artifacts from the city.
Huế comprises 27 administrative divisions, including 24
(urban wards) and 3 xã
The cuisine of Huế draws from throughout Vietnam, but one of the
most striking differences is the prominence of vegetarianism in the
city. Several all-vegetarian restaurants are scattered in various
corners of the city to serve the locals who have a strong tradition
of eating vegetarian twice a month, as part of their Buddhist
beliefs. Another feature of Huế dishes that sets them apart from
other regional cuisines in Vietnam is the relatively small serving
size with refined presentation, a vestige of its royal cuisine.
Finally, another feature of Huế cuisine is that it is often very
Miếu templeFile:Citadel of Hue 2097435323 f4a9d26ec9 o.jpg|Hiển
LâmFile:Thaihoa1.jpg|Thai Hoa Palace from the Courtyard of
AudienceFile:Thaihoa2.jpg|Emperor's throne, Thai Hoa
PalaceFile:Cuudinh.jpg| The Nine Dynastic Urns in front of the Thế
Miếu (Temple of Generations)File:Hanhlang.jpgFile:Hiennhan.jpg|Hiển
Nhân gateFile:Hue gate.jpgImage:Hue,_rive_droite.jpg|Right bank of
Hương riverImage:Hue,_rive_droite_2.jpg|Right bank of Hương
riverImage:Hue_&_la_rivière_des_parfums.jpg|Hương river by
nightImage:Hue,_rue_Tran_Hung_Dao.jpg|Trần Hưng Đạo
streetFile:Riviere des Parfums Hue.jpg|Huong
riverFile:Songhuong9.jpg|Huong river and a
bridgeFile:Thienmu16.jpg|Thien Mu pagodaFile:Minhmang2.jpg|Minh
Mang tombFile:Grave tu duc.jpgFile:Grave khai
dinh.jpgFile:Khaidinh.jpg|Khai Dinh tombFile:VN Hue6
tango7174.jpg|Khải Định tombFile:VN Hue7 tango7174.jpg|Từ Hiếu
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