The Citadel, Hué - Stein Travel
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The Citadel

Constructed by Emperor Gia Long in 1804 for the private use of the emperor and his household, the enormous moated Citadel is comprised of three separate walled enclosures. The outer citadel, surrounded by a six-mile (10km) perimeter wall punctuated by 10 gates, frames the Imperial Enclosure used for official business. At the very centre is the Forbidden Purple City, the restricted residence of the emperor and his concubines. This once magnificent Imperial City originally included many magnificent features, with tombs, pagodas and temples, lakes and lavishly gilded pavilions. Today remnants of the palaces contain ornate ceremonial halls and throne rooms, mosaics adorn roofs and pillars, and beautiful landscaped gardens surround the remaining buildings. Sadly much was destroyed during the Vietnamese War, and a fire further damaged the Forbidden Purple City, but it is still possible to see evidence of its past glory. The main entrance is through the Ngo Mon Gate (Noon Gate), a stunning example of Nguyen architecture, with separate entrances for the emperor, his mandarins and the royal elephants. A soaring multi-roofed pavilion used for important royal proclamations, sits elegantly on top.

Information & Facts

Address

North bank of the Perfume River

Admission

55, 000d, concessions available

Language

The official language in Vietnam is Vietnamese. Some Chinese, English and French are spoken. Tour guides can also speak Russian and Japanese. Numerous ethnic languages are also spoken in parts.

Money

The official currency is the Dông (VND). There are no smaller denominations. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change, hotels and on the black market. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are becoming more widely acceptable, particularly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but it is best not to rely on them elsewhere. It is recommended that visitors bring travellers cheques in US Dollars, which can be cashed at major banks in the main cities and tourist areas. US currency acts as unofficial tender and is useful as a back-up when banks won't cash travellers cheques outside the main cities, but notes must be relatively new and unmarked. Dông can be withdrawn from ATMs, which are becoming more widespread.

Opening Times

Daily from 7am to 5.30pm

Time

Local time in Vietnam is GMT +7.

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