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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.

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Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 1

We start on the Perfume River perhaps two miles upstream from the city.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 2

The river is busy without being crowded.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 3

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.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 4

A stele nearby was installed in 1716; the tortoise base suggests permanence.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 5

Temple behind the pagoda.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 6

Miniature trees in bronze urns.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 7

Cemetery behind the garden.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 8

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.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 9

The design is derivative to the point of being a copy of Beijing's Altar of Heaven.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 10

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.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 11

Upstream, there's a railroad and cycle bridge. Not very pedestrian friendly.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 12

Railroad station.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 13

La Residence Hotel, a colonial leftover from 1923.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 14

Just outside the citadel, a shopping center.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 15

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.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 16

Colors that command attention.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 17

Corridor.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 18

The Notre Dame Cathedral, 1959-62.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 19

Another view.

Vietnam: Hue: Outside the Citadel picture 20

The adjoining school.


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