How gorgeous does The Imperial City in Hue, Vietnam look. The Imperial City is an enclosed and fortified palace with each of the four walls about 2 kilometres in length with a moat on the outside.
This huge city was full of temples, gardens, offices, palaces, and residences. The most important place was in the middle of this city, it was called the Purple Forbidden City. This was where the emperor and his closest confidants lived and worked and it was completely inaccessible to most people. Nowadays of course, everyone can walk through it and see what remains.
Unfortunately though, much of the Imperial City had been destroyed. Natural disasters have had a hand to play and of course the wear & tear of time but it was really the Vietnam War that caused the most amount of damage. The North Vietnamese Army invaded Hue in January 1968 and the Allied forces responded to the NVA’s invasion with bombings. Out of the 160 buildings that were within the Imperial City, only 10 major ones survived the Vietnam War.
But fortunately some buildings have been restored over the years and now more work is taking place to restore even more of them. Although there are large areas of The Imperial City that are still empty, there is still so much to see and it really is quite impressive.
I would highly recommend a guided tour here with an experienced tour guide as the site is so large and so not to miss anything. The Imperial city is open daily from 8am to 5.30pm. It was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
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