On the 150 Km drive to Hue we came across some rather amazing Lang Co peninsula landscape scenary which we weren't able to photograph because there were traffic constraints and when we were able to stop there were clouds which didn't allow us to see anything worth being photographed but until we reached the Phu Loc lake where we all go off to photograph the old train passing by.
We stopped for luch prior to visitng the Imperial city which would take all afternoon. We stopped briefly at a Camera repairing shop where I left my camera hoping it would be fixed before we left Hue in one day 's time.
Designated a World Heritage Site the Imperial Citadel was established by Emperor Gia Long (1802-20) in 1805. The huge fortress comprises three concentric enclosures - the Civic, the Imperial and the Forbidden Purple cities, having been designed using the rules of Chinese Geomancy together with the military principles favoured by the French architect Sebastien de Vauban.
Within its spacious complex palaces and temples coexist with ramparts, bastions and even moats. We came across the Hung Mieu Temple dedicated to the veneration of the Emperor Gia's mother and father with glazed carvings on a tiled roof and a large gargoyle-like stone dragons keeping vigil over the paved courtyard.
To the right stood the three -storied Hien Lam Pavillion built by the Emperor Minh Mang in 1824 and facing it the nine Dynastic Urns cast between 1835 and 1837. They are massive bas-relief embelished Bronze funerary urns representing the might of nine Nguen emperors.
We proceeded to the left onto the Dien Tho Palace, whose interior crafted furniture is carefully inlaid with mother-of- pearl (the mobile phone photos didn't unfortunately come out right) and then onto the halls of Mandarins and the Forbidden Purple City where no man except the emperor was permited to set foot. Apart from him only the queen, nine separate ranks of concubines, female servants and court eunuchs were alloed to enter.
From there we walked onto the Royal Theatre, declared a masterpiece of the oral and intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It was an absolute beauty with its golden ornate stage and chairs (the only photo that came out right).
We finally made it to the Library constructed as a retreating space and where currently an exhibition was on display.
It is a pity my photographs don't convey the whole atmosphere and the amazing site the whole complex is.