Photographer's Note

HUE, the former imperial capital, is another must-stop in central Vietnam. It was the capital of Đàng Trong Kingdom from 1738 to 1775 and of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945.

The major attraction here is its vast, 19th-century citadel. The grounds of this "Imperial City" are protected by fortified ramparts 2 kilometers by 2 kilometers, and ringed by a moat.

Most of the Imperial City was destroyed during the American War, but gradually it is being restored to some of its former beauty.

We spent half a day wandering around inside, often admiring the small details and artwork of the various halls, courtyards and villas. Some of them are original, most of them have been lovingly restored (or even rebuilt).

We visited Hue first in 1999. Visiting it again now we often found ourselves wondering which buildings we had seen before and which ones were "new".

Anyway, I absolute love this kind of artwork and hope you appreciate it too.


THIS PICTURE shows a very Vietnamese symbol. It represent "long life". Here it is incorporated in a wall to close off the gate.

Traditionally it is believed evil spirits can travel only in a straight line, so if you put up a wall in front or just behind your gate, they cannot enter. The sign adds even more meaning to the wall.

Protection from evil and a long life, isn't that what we all want?

Technically, this mosaic is made with shattered pieces of broken bowls and cups. This technique is fairly common in Vietnam (and China), but I've been told it's getting more and more difficult to find crafstmen who really master it.

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2903 W: 35 N: 6177] (32474)
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