Imperial City Hue
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Exploring the Majestic Imperial City Hue: A Journey Through History and Architecture

Imperial City Hue features an impressive and grand palace architecture, serving as the residence of the Empresses and Queens during the Nguyen Dynasty. It is considered one of the most remarkable and unique structures within the Imperial City of Hue.

Imperial City Hue is a popular tourist destination in Hue, attracting many visitors due to its distinct architecture and rich historical and cultural significance. To gain a deeper understanding of this remarkable site, continue reading the article below!

1. Location of Imperial City Hue

Imperial City Hue is one of the captivating tourist spots in Hue. It’s located within the complex of the former imperial capital built during the Nguyen Dynasty and carrying a history spanning hundreds of years. Situated in the Northwest of the Forbidden City area in Hue. The Imperial City Hue is adjacent to Thai Hoa Palace to the West, Tu Cam Thanh to the West, and Truong Sanh Palace to the South. Both Imperial City Hue and Truong Sanh Palace were originally the primitive gardens of the kings.


Address: Forbidden City Hue, 23/8 Street, Thuan Hoa Ward, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue Province. Opening Hours: Summer: from 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Winter: from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Ticket Prices: (Imperial City Hue is located within the Forbidden City Hue area, so the ticket prices apply to the entrance of Forbidden City Hue):

  • Adults: 120,000 VND/person.
  • Children (under 1.3m): 30,000 VND/person.
  • Foreign tourists: 150,000 VND/person.

2. Historical Journey of Imperial City Hue


2.1: Imperial City Hue – Literal Meaning and Significance of Its Name

In 1804, the construction of Imperial City Hue was undertaken to serve as a separate residence for the Empresses – that is, the mothers of the kings. Initially, the palace was named Truong Tho, but four name changes were undergone by it, including Tu Tho, Gia Tho, Ninh Tho, and finally Di Tho. Despite the name changes, the significance of Imperial City Hue remains intact, reflecting the king’s filial piety towards the Empresses and his desire for their longevity.

2.2: Transformations of Imperial City Hue During the Nguyen Dynasty

History of transformations of Imperial City Hue during the Nguyen Dynasty:

  1. Gia Long Dynasty: In 1804, King Gia Long built Truong Tho Palace to replace Hau Dien (Queen Mother’s Residence). And serve as the residence of the Empress Dowager.
  2. Minh Mang Dynasty: Tu Tho Palace was built within the Truong Tho Palace area to serve the Empress Dowager Tran Thi Dang.
  3. Tu Duc Dynasty: King Tu Duc decided to completely demolish Tu Tho Palace. And construct Gia Tho Palace, completed in February 1849, to be the residence of Empress Dowager Tu Du.
  4. Thieu Tri Dynasty: The palace was renamed Ninh Tho Palace. It’s became the residence of Queen Mother Nghi Thien and later Queen Mother Tu Minh (mother of King Thanh Thai).
  5. Khai Dinh Dynasty: Ninh Tho Palace underwent renovation, repair. Also enaming to Di Tho Palace, becoming the residence of Queen Mother Thanh Cung Hoang Quy Phi.

3. Architecture of Imperial City Hue – The Superior Grandeur of Hue’s Palaces

Within the complex of Imperial City Hue, there are around 20 large. And small architectural structures with diverse styles and types. Below are the prominent structures that have maintained their elegance over time:

3.1: Main Hall of Imperial City Hue

Located in the center of Imperial City Hue, the Main Hall is constructed using blackened brick and wood. It is a large structure with an area of nearly 960m², meticulously decorated in an elegant style. Inside, the Main Hall preserves the magnificent horizontal lacquer screen “Diên Thọ cung” and eight valuable mirrored paintings.

3.2: Tea Reception House and Tịnh Minh Pavilion

Right next to the Main Hall is the Tea Reception House, used to welcome guests visiting the Queen Mother. This structure consists of 3 chambers and 2 wings, built with brick and wood in a distinct Eastern style. Across the courtyard in front of the Main Hall is the Tịnh Minh Pavilion, designed in a Western modern architectural style.

3.3: Khuong Ninh Towers

People built the Khương Ninh Towers to worship Buddha and serve the religious needs of the Queen Mother and the imperial court. These towers, which have two stories, are well-balanced and visually appealing. They are located within an independent enclosed area, separated from the outside by a solid surrounding wall.

3.4: Ta Truong Du

Tạ Trường Du is located to the east of the Main Hall, designed in the traditional Hue-style house architecture. This structure consists of one chamber, four wings, a green tiled roof, a decorated brick floor, wooden walls, and exquisite interior furnishings. It served as a relaxing place for the Queen Mothers, with a harmonious and poetic arrangement.

3.5: Other Auxiliary Structures in Imperial City Hue

In addition, Imperial City Hue has many other auxiliary structures, reflecting the ancient and solemn atmosphere of a royal capital. Especially high brick walls surrounding the complex, a long decorative screen made of bricks, square wells. And corridors connecting various architectural structures with a graceful and gentle beauty. However, over time, some of the auxiliary structures have been damaged and only their foundations remain.

4. Important Notes when visiting Imperial City Hue

During your fascinating journey to explore Imperial City Hue, it is important to keep the following points in mind to have an enjoyable experience and avoid any unnecessary incidents.

Firstly, it is advisable to wear appropriate clothing that allows for easy movement and visiting, avoiding overly extravagant or provocative attire for taking photos. Maintaining politeness and respecting the principles of the historical site is crucial.

Furthermore, visitors should comply with all regulations and instructions provided at the site. It is necessary to refrain from taking photos or videos inside the interiors, as well as refraining from touching any artifacts, in order to protect and preserve the integrity of this valuable historical site.

Given the significant size of the Imperial City Hue complex. Visitors should allocate some time to familiarize themselves with the map and the route to reach the Dien Tho Palace before starting their journey. This will help avoid getting lost and save valuable time during each visit.

Finally, take the time to appreciate and enjoy every moment at Imperial City Hue, a place of extraordinary history and beauty. To create a complete and meaningful experience, listen and immerse yourself in the marvelous space of Imperial City Hue.


When in Hue, you cannot miss the Imperial City Hue, a destination of immense historical value, unique architecture. Especially a serene ancient atmosphere. Here, you will experience valuable insights and a deeper understanding of life within the royal forbidden city during the feudal era.

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