Ngo Mon Gate is passed trough and the Imperial City entered. It feels like the secret is about to be revealed. If You are lucky enough to avoid the crowd You can have Your moment with the Past. Or at least a trace of it.
Flanked by the rectangular basins the bridge was the passage reserved exclusively for the emperor.
On this postcard from 1963 the Imperial City is completely silent, deserted, and plundered. Interesting as a relic of the past for the people in Saigon and seen as en exotic spot by the "Silent Americans".
Leaving the "Ngo Mon" Gate behind them, the tourists take a look at the ponds. March 2012
What one can see at the early spring is the crowd of the golden fishes, hoping to get some food. In May or early June the lotus flowers cover the surface of the basins.
Passing the bridge, one moves towards the Esplanade of Great Welcome and the Throne Room, which both can be seen on this photo behind the colorful portico gate. March 2012
Portico-gate of this kind can be seen at few other places in the Imperial City. The one on the photo is decorated with lotus buds and several auspicious emblems, crested by the flaming pearl. March 2012
Closer look at the auspicious symbols reveals the instrument of qin (blue bottom), painting scroll (yellow bottom), and mandarin´s fan, or a tablet accompanied by the brush (white bottom). All objects decorated with a luck-bringing red ribbon and surrounded by flowers. Very Confucian and China-inspired. March 2012