The Royal citadel overview

The Royal citadel is the second rampart with  a perimeter of 2,450m. It is located in the center of the Citadel where established highest offices of Viet Nam’s feudalism and sanctums honoring the cult of decreased Emperors.

It is accessible through four gates: Ngo Mon to the south, Hoa Binh (Peace Gate) to the north, Hien Nhan (Humanity) to the east, and Chuong Duc (Virtue) to the west.Ngo Mon is the main entrance gate to the city and was formerly reserved for the passage of kings.

  • Ngo Mon Gate

Ngo Mon Gate: This three-story structure is 58m long, 27.5m wide, 17m high, and serves as the main entrance to the Imperial City.
Ngo Mon comprises five gates, with the central  gate being reserved for the kings only. The two adjacent gates were exclusively for court officials, and the two other outer gates were used for servants and members of the royal entourage. On top of the arch is the Phoenix Pavilion where the king sat during festivities. This was also where ceremonies were organized to announce the names of successful candidates of royal examinations.
During the reign of the Nguyen Kings, Ngo Mon was only opened when the kings were passing by or receiving foreign ambassadors.

  • Palace of Supreme Harmony

Palace of Supreme Harmony (Dien Thai Hoa): Thai Hoa Palace was built in 1805 according to 19**1 century architectural designs for palaces and temples. lt is composed of two buildings, the anterior palace and the main palace, which are joined together. This is where the golden throne of the king is located.
Thai Hoa Palace was the most important building of the capital used for important court ceremonies.

  • Dynastic Temple

Dynastic Temple (The Mieu): This was one of the many shrines and temples dedicated to the kings and royal members of the Nguyen Dynasty. It was built in 1921 to worship King, Gia Long and was later used to worship his successors as well. Up to now ten kings are; worshipped in The Mieu.
The Mieu is comprised two separate halls, each furnished with an ornamented bed
made of ironwood and covered with golden glaze and red lacquer, an altar, funerary tablets and precious military weapons used for worshipping purposes. This was where, the court organized grand funeral services headed by the late king’s successor. The Temple is said to be the largest shrine of this kind ever built in Viet Nam.

  • Nine Dynastic Urns

Nine Dynastic Urns: The Nine Dynastic Urns were cast between 1835 and 1837, and weigh between 1,900 to 2,601kg each. The whole row of urns represents the power andstability of the Nguyen Dynasty.
These urns are the greatest achievements of the 19th century bronze casting in Viet Nam.Traditional ornamentation was chiselled on the sides of the urns, each dedicated to a particular emperor.
The 17 designs, based on classic motifs, include the sun, the moon, clouds, mountains, rivers, and scenes from everyday life. Many consider the nine urns to be a real encyclopedia of the landscapes, farm products, and animals of Viet Nam.

  • Pavilion of Splendour

Pavilion of Splendour (Hien Lam): Hien   Lam Pavilion is a memorial pavilion built to remind younger generations of the merits and ,contributions of members of the Nguyen Dynasty. Like the Nguyen Kings who were worshipped in The Mieu, other memorable people and mandarins were worshipped in the two halls located on either side of Hien Lam Pavilion.
Hien Lam Pavilion was built within the site of The Mieu and was made of wood. The three story building, which is 25m high, is the tallest building in the whole imperial Enclosure.

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