Da Nang’s Vietnamese Forbidden City   7 comments

(Please remember you can enlarge any photo by clicking on it.)

A story of splendor and destruction, we saw the remains of the imperial city, the enclave of the last emperor of Vietnam, whose rule lasted until the mid 1900s. Since 1993 it has been a UNESCO site. Once lavishly beautiful, it was seen by some as the equivalent of China’s Forbidden City. Even before war took its toll, however, it suffered damage through termites and neglect.

Originally during the Vietnam war it was protected by the Americans, but in 1969 bombing destroyed much of it when it seemed a necessary step in the process of the battle. According to reports, it is being at least partially restored with predictions that the improvements will be completed sometime in 2015. Click on this More on the Imperial City for additional information about its history and future.

I failed to get a photo of the Ngo Mon Gate through which the emperor was allowed to enter while all others were required to enter by side exits based on status, with gender one of the distinguishing factors. Click on Ngo Mon Gate and choose the fourth photo on the right at the top to see the gate and entrances.

Some of what’s left is beautiful as befits an emperor.



P1060934And much is sadly destroyed and/or neglected. I took the following photo looking through an opening onto what was essentially a collection of rejected items.

P1060941Saddest was the remnant of the Imperial library which apparently survived the war in pretty good shape, but was finally deliberately destroyed by the Viet Minh. (Maybe someone in commenting will correct me, but that’s what I understood.)

Library, final Bombing - Viet Minh

As we headed back to our bus, I couldn’t help noting and recording the memorial to war casually sitting there on the corner.


Lest I leave you with the impression of destruction, here’s a shot of the opposite corner.

Imperial Hue

And another scene along the way.


Posted April 16, 2013 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

7 responses to “Da Nang’s Vietnamese Forbidden City

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  1. Oh my gosh Mona, the photos are so magnificent!!! I have an infatuation with the dragons back from that era. I absolutely loved your post. thanks for sharing with me

  2. It is all suffused with Buddhism, isn’t it – oh that dragon – thank you so much for all these photos, such a treat

    • Thanks so much, Leelah, for taking the time to look and to respond. I’m glad I included the dragon; both of you who responded commented especially on that. And yes, we felt comfortably, maybe even blessedly, awash in the Buddhist atmosphere.

  3. nice!

  4. Beautiful!


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