VietNamNet Bridge – The ancient capital of Hue used to be in the ruins owing to war and time devastation. Below are pictures of the Hue royal citadel on the way from devastation to reconstruction as it is today.
The Hue Monument Conservation Centre is exhibiting posters that tell the stories of Hue's royal monuments from the end of feudal era to the present. The process of restoration lasted for 30 years and it was the tireless effort of Hue. The exhibition is entitled “Hue Monuments: Memories and the Present.” The posters are being exhibited in the Imperial Palace's long corridor for free to visitors.
The photographic posters depict the monuments at various stages in history, including the 142-year period under the reign of the country last's Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), bombardment during two wars, human destruction in the postwar era and, finally, their recognition as a world heritage site.
In each poster, a photo of a monument is depicted with captions telling the story of the monument through its various stages. According to the centre, the exhibition aims to inform locals and visitors about the former capital city's past, Hue's latest history and the achievements of conservation by local authorities, local residents and foreign supporters as well.
After 1975, the relics of Hue carried on them many wounds of war, especially the Tet Offensive 1968. During this time, many architectural works were completely destroyed and many others were in dilapidated conditions and they could collapse at any time.
In the tough time after the country’s reunification, the state of disrepair of Hue relics continued to be in alarm conditions. Also, in 1953, 1971, 1984 and 1999, Hue experienced severe storms and floods, which severely damaged monuments.
In 1981, the call for rescuing Hue relics was released. With the effort of the central and local government and the assistance of the international community, Hue monuments have gradually been rescued and revived and was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. The government also approved a conservation project from 1995 to 2010 (and then be extended until 2020) to guide the work of conservation here.
Some posters displayed at the exhibition: “Hue Monuments: Memories and the Present”:
Ngo Mon - symbol of Hue culture at the time of desolation in the Tet Offensive 1968 and today.
Many gates were crumbled, abandoned after the war at different levels.
Since 2003, the gate were restored and preserved. In the picture is a corner of the Hue citadel, with the two gates of Quang Duc and Tay Nam being reconstructed.
Phu Van Lau, built in 1819 under King Gia Long and used as a place to list the important edicts of the king and the court, or the results of the examinations held by the court. This place was renovated four times in 1905 (after the huge storm in 1904), 1922, 1974 and 1994.
Phu Van Lau today.
The front of the Thai Hoa Palace in 1968.
And after restoration.
Linh Tinh Mon and Van Mieu Mon in the early of the 20th century - and were restored in 2008.
Not only the monuments but also the major festivals and royal rites were also restored. In the photo are the original and the restored royal unions at the Nam Giao offering ritual at the Hue Festival 2006.
An ancient dance and the restored dance today. This dance is in the Hue royal court music, which was recognized as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2003.
However, there are architectures that can hardly be restored by the same because they were completely destroyed by war, for example Kien Trung palace (photo) which was built in 1921 under King Khai Dinh. This is a 2 storey building in European style. In 1947, the palace was destroyed by war.
This splendid building only left the foundation today.
Truong Tien Bridge - the symbol of Hue - was broken in 1968 and the people had to make a pontoon.
And the charming Truong Tien Bridge today.
Truong Sanh Palace was built in 1821 under the reign of King Minh Mang as a flower garden and then became the home of some Queen Mothers and Grandmothers.
It was restored between 2005 and 2007.
Hien Nhon Gate was built in 1805 under King Gia Long. In 1833 in the reign of King Minh Mang, it was decorated by porcelain pieces. It was restored again under King Khai Dinh. The gate was only for mandarins and men. In 1968 the gate was completely destroyed.
After 1975, the gate was restored as it is today.