• Russell Roy

Exploring Vietnam's Imperial City

Updated: Sep 5

Established in the late 1700s, the Imperial City of Hue was home to 13 Nguyen Emperors. Fought over and partially destroyed by the French and Americans during several military campaigns, a surprisingly large amount of Imperial buildings still remain intact or have been reconstructed.


The Imperial City is very large measuring approximately 700 X 700 metres. It sits within a fortified wall and moat measuring 2.6 X 2.6 kilometres. We spent the entire day exploring the site.


You access the Imperial City by crossing a moat and passing through one of several gates. The main fortification including cannon ports is shown in the second photo below.

Beyond the business side of the fortifications, you enter the Imperial City itself through a beautiful, and largely ceremonial, fortified gate.

Once inside, you are free to wander the many roads, covered walkways, courtyards, gates, temples and gardens.

Many of the buildings and gates are lavishly decorated and it takes some time to take it all in. We have dozens of photos of many of the buildings. The details are unique and outstanding.

The Palace Gardens are a great place to take a break from the touring,, to rest your feet and enjoy the calmness and serenity.

The following photos are of one of the few remaining Royal Residences. They look plain enough on first glance beyond the gate, but would certainly provide a comfortable surrounding.

They last photos provide a plan view of the site showing all of the remaining buildings that can be visited along with a diorama of the site showing how incredible it would have been during its heyday.