Hué in time

Hué in time

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What´s left of the Old Hué gives a vague idea of how the Citadel and Imperial City looked like during the times of the Nguyen dynasty. Was the city as enchanting as its remains are striking with their absence? What was the ideal of beauty? Who were the artists? Which details are authentic and what is much later translation of former splendor?
Presuming that I´m not the only person interested, adding the great outreach of internet, the blog may be a platform for us who want to know more and who have something to tell about the city of Hué. In time.

Hau Bo Gate

Imperial Hué, NorthPosted by Krystyna Kierebinski Sun, December 29, 2013 15:22:14

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Pavilion Lau Tu Phuong Vo Su

Imperial Hué, NorthPosted by Krystyna Kierebinski Sat, January 05, 2013 15:02:14

If I knew than what I know now there would be a lot more pictures of the Pavilion, its architectural details, its surroundings. Yet another reason to go back:)

The general view from the Imperial City. Behind the moat and the wall the Imperial city ended and the Citadels ordinary population lived. But the Pavilion was still part of the Imperial compound. Photo: Robert Myslinski, March 2012

After few hours of walking in the Imperial Hué one starts to think about a place to rest and something to eat. Some workers met around highly recommended a coffee shop by the northern gate. The walk would take a while but it would be worth the effort.

The long road flanked by the old trees leading to the northern gate. Photo: Krystyna Kierebinski, March 2012

On the way the Imperial Gardens. Photo: Robert Myslinski, March 2012

We passed the complex of the Imperial Gardens. In the earlier times it was a combination of the reach vegetation, fishing ponds, and pagodas.

Gardens were surrounded by water. Photo: Krystyna Kierebinski, March 2012

View of the Pavilion from the Imperial City. Photo: Krystyna Kierebinski, March 2012

Following the moat, we reached the northern Bac Dai gate. Right outside of it there was a nice building sorrounden by a small garden. Beatiful view, quite atmosphere, Nothing to eat, but perfect coffee, great herbal tea, and desserts called moctail.

Our lunch at the Worldwide Peace. Photo: Krystyna Kierebinski, March 2012

Since the building stands outside of the walls of the Imperial City and it looks being newly built I thought that it might has been constructed recently, mostly for the tourist. Well, it is not the case.

Pavilion of Worldwide Peace, view from the Imperial City. Photo: Robert Myslinski, March 2012

Lau Tu Phuong Vo Su, called in English Pavilion of Worldwide Peace, was built in 1923 during the reign of the Emperor Khai Dinh. Its purpose was to serve a a place of learning for the princes and princesses of the late dynasty. However the last Emperor Bao Dai, being a young boy was probably educated within the walls of the Forbidden City. Here, at the Pavilion, the pupils were princes and princesses of a lesser rank, children of the Emperors many concubines.

The fact that the Pavilion stands outside of the wall of the Imperial City does not mean that the princess and princesses received their education on the area inhabited by the ordinary people of the Citadel. The moat surrounds the building. Whoever wanted to reach it from the outside had to pass guarded Hau Bo Gate.

This two-storey house looks higher thanks to being constructed on a base. To reach the entrance one has to climb the staircase.

The architectural style of the Pavilion might be described as transitional. The typical Vietnamese elements of the roof and wooden galleries mix with the European-style silhouette and other elements.

In every wall there are windows facing all cardinal directions. This fact can be actually seen as the idea behind the Pavilions name. Tu Phuong means four cardinal directions (worldwide), vo su means without incident, safely (peace).

Emperor Bao Dai, in his memoires gathered by Philippe Lafond, calls the Pavilion Tu Thong Dinh, House Open to All the Winds.

The detail decorating the roof and the wooden balcony surrounding the first floor. Photo: Krystyna Kierebinski, March 2012

The decline of the pavillion started right after the Imperial Hué was taken over by the Vietnams new rulers. The final strike was done by the battle of Tét in 1968 which left the house in ruins. Long and expensive restoring process was finally finished at 2010. The pictorial history of it is very well documented by the Vietnamese observer. Probably Hués inhabitant and surely in love with the city:

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