Hue – Imperial Capital from 1802-1945

We made a very brief trip down to Hue while my parents were visiting in December. The Hound stayed in Hanoi, although I have begun plotting how I might bring her on internal flights in the future….

Located right in the center of Vietnam, Hue became the capital when the Nguyen Dynasty first united the whole country in 1802. Although the French made Hanoi their administrative capital in 1902, Hue continued to be the Royal Capital until the last Emperor, Bao Dai abdicated in 1945. Sadly, Hue was the scene of heavy fighting during the American war and much of the old imperial walled city and citadel was destroyed. However, the tombs outside the city were spared. Many of the emperors spent vast sums of money during their lifetime perfecting their final resting places.



It rained constantly over the three days in a persistent Scottish summer type drizzle. As a result my pictures are sadly a bit grey and forlorn and have tended to focus on close-ups. We did, however, stay in a lovely art deco hotel – La Residence – which has been sympathetically restored into I imagine a slightly more glossy version of its former self – the French Governor’s residence in the 1930s.

La Residence, Hue

La Residence - return to Art Deco splendor

La Residence

Goldfish at the Citadel

The floor in one of the intact buildings in the Citadel

Ruined moss covered walls in the Citadel

Ruins in the Citadel

Old floor tiles in the Citadel

Through the window in Khai Dinh's Mausoleum (photo - TWBC)

Khai Dinh's Temple's ceiling

Dragon scales at Khai Dinh's Mausoleum

Mandarin statue at Minh Mang's Mausoleum

An old plumeria trunk at Tu Duc's Mausoleum

A rather furry caterpillar at Tu Duc's Tomb

Tu Duc's serene lakes

The round royal arena for watching elephants beat de-clawed tigers... last fight 1904