Our first visit to an imperial site was definitely an impressive one! Hue’s Imperial Citadel (also known as the Imperial Enclosure) was the home and capital of Vietnam’s Nguyen dynasty between 1802 and 1945. The complex included not only the royal residence, but also its temples and palaces. The interior of the Citadel, the Purple Forbidden City, was reserved solely for the royal family. Sadly a visit today doesn’t really provide the full experience of the site since much of the complex was destroyed in bombing raids during both the American and French wars. The extent of the loss is made incredibly clear when you learn that out of the 148 buildings that once existed, only 20 have survived to the modern day.
Sadly once you’re inside the complex it’s actually pretty difficult to tell what building is what as there aren’t many signs provided. Personally I found it was more a case of ‘I recognise that from a picture I’ve seen’ rather than any real understanding of what the buildings were. Despite this, the site is absolutely stunning and it’s not difficult in the slightest to imagine it as the home of a royal family!
“It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once and it’s too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst, and then I remember to relax and stop trying to hold onto it and it flows through me like rain and I can feel nothing but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid, little life. You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure, but don’t worry. You will someday.” – American Beauty