Hue's Citadel on the north side of the Perfume River is often referred to as "ancient", but compared to My Son or The Temple of Literature is actually quite young historically. It was built in the early part of the 19th Century, 1804, and was the royal capitol of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty until 1945. The former imperial seat of government and Hue's prime attraction, this is a great sprawling complex of temples, pavilions, moats, walls, gates, shops, museums and galleries. The Thien Mu Pagoda overlooks the Perfume River and is the official symbol of the city of Hue and was built in 1601 although the nearly 70 foot tower was built in1844.
Throughout its history the pagoda has seen a number of activists pass thru it's gates on the way to influence many different governments over the last 400 years. There are several tombs of Nyugen emperors around Hue, the two most remarkable are Khai Dinh Tomb with it's classic formula of forecourts leading up to the tomb of the Emperor complete with incredibly detailed and opulent mosaics of cavorting dragons. Minh Mang, an regal complex with it's courtyard surrounded by warrior statues and several temples and pavilions.
Discoveries Vietnam, Historic Treasures. Apr 2011. Bennett-Watt, DVD, $24.95. (9781934682661). This recently shot travel video goes beyond the usual tourist haunts to visit several of Vietnam's mostvenerated and iconic historic sites, including the Temple of Literature, Ba Dinh Square, Hoi Anh, My Son,Hue Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda, Khai Dinh Tomb, and Minh Mang Tomb, among others. In-depth tours areconducted by guides who live in the various areas, lending an authentic voice to the travelogue; they are afont of historical, architectural, and cultural information about Vietnam. What distinguishes this travelvideo is the fluid photography and editing, and while it may lack some stylistic pizzazz, it is an excellentresource for travelers and world history buffs who enjoy armchair travels without extraneous detours.Includes subtitles to accommodate some speakers with heavier accents." Donald Liebenson, Booklist