The Imperial City
The Forbiden Purple City
     

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The Imperial City
and
The Forbidden Purple City

USARV Long Binh 2003

 


The Imperial City was begun in 1804. The Forbidden Purple City was begun at the same time. The Imperial city is surrounded by a wall over 12 feet high and 4 foot thick. A slightly smaller wall surrounds the Forbidden Purple City. The Forbidden Purple City is nestles inside the Imperial City.

Noon Gate
The Noon Gate is the main enterance to the Imperial City. It was built in 1833. Atop the Noon Gate is the Five Phoenix Watchtower. This was a place where guests were heralded and proclamations were made. It was also the place where, on August 25,1945, Bao Dai, the 13th and final Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty abdicated.

There are three gates. Foreigner use the left and Vietnamese use the right. Vietnamese pay about 1/3 of what foreigners pay. Considering the income differential I think this is fair. Vietnamese also pay less for Museums, air fare on Air Vietnam, in country flights, and on the Hydrofoil.

Throne

At one time there were over 100 buildings within the Imperial City. There is a model of the Forbidden Purple City on display and I regret that I did not get a photo of it. So much of the city was lost to the Japanese, the French and finally the Americans.

Foundations of the Emperors compound within the Forbidden Purple City. There were nine buildings here including his Temple and housing for his staff and lesser wives.

We spent half a day here but next time I will take a day or possibly more to see it all. The architecture is exquisite and the artifacts beautiful.

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