Notes on the Geography of Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel
We look here at Hue outside the citadel and at a couple of imperial sites on the town's periphery.
We start on the Perfume River perhaps two miles upstream from the city.
The river is busy without being crowded.
The Thien Mau (Heavenly Lady or Elderly Goddess) Pagoda overlooks the river. A pagoda was here in the 18th century but has been rebuilt many times, most recently after a typhoon of 1904.
A stele nearby was installed in 1716; the tortoise base suggests permanence.
Temple behind the pagoda.
Miniature trees in bronze urns.
Cemetery behind the garden.
On the other side of the river, the path to the Royal Arena, built in 1830 to stage battles between declawed tigers and elephants representing the emperor. Guess who won.
The design is derivative to the point of being a copy of Beijing's Altar of Heaven.
Modern Hue begins with the Trang Tien bridge, which was opened in 1899 but had to be rebuilt several times, including in the aftermath of February 7th, 1968, when North Vietnamese Army sappers blew two spans.
Upstream, there's a railroad and cycle bridge. Not very pedestrian friendly.
La Residence Hotel, a colonial leftover from 1923.
Just outside the citadel, a shopping center.
One of the many buildings comprising the Hue National School, which opened in 1896 and was reorganized after 1915, when the traditional examination system was abolished. In 1932 it became the Khai Dinh Lycee and was run by Ngo Dinh Kha, father of Ngo Dinh Diem, later to become the president of South Vietnam. General Giap attended; so, in 1908, did Ho Chi Minh. The buildings were renovated for the school's centennial in 1996.
Colors that command attention.
The Notre Dame Cathedral, 1959-62.
The adjoining school.
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