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The Citadel

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Like many of Hue’s historic sites, Hue Citadel is hardly ancient—construction of what you can see today first began in 1805, under the rule of Gia Long, the first of the Nguyen Dynasty rulers. What remains has been ravaged by war, looting and age, but remains a fascinating attraction well worth a half day of your time.

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While generally referred to in tourism literature as “The Citadel”, much like a Matryoshka (Russian) doll, the Citadel is really three cities within a city. The all encompassing city is the Citadel, with its imposing brick walls forming a perimeter of almost 10km. Off centre within the Citadel lies the moat-enclosed Imperial City with the circumference of the moat coming in at around the 2.5km mark. At the centre of the Imperial City lies the Purple Forbidden City whose walled perimeter is around 1.3km in length.

A field of sunflowers at the heart of the Forbidden Purple City. Photo taken in or around The Citadel, Hue, Vietnam by Stuart McDonald.

A field of sunflowers at the heart of the Forbidden Purple City. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Today the inner two—the Imperial and Forbidden Purple Cities—form the “museum” part of the affair (and are ticketed, see below for details), while the larger Citadel retains a living breathing Vietnamese city and is easily our favourite part of the ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,900 words.)

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Hue.
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Hue? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.

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