Trip Start Nov 05, 2007
58Trip End Jun 22, 2008
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Our first stop was the "Citadel" the imperial city, started in 1804 by Emperor Gia Long. This was used by the Emperor for all official functions in the front outer area. Within the inner "Forbidden Purple City" the Emperor had his private life. Only his servants were allowed inside that were eunuchs (you read it correct), who posed no threat to the royal concubines. During our tour, we were told that one Emperor had over 400 "wife's" and 80 children. It was a huge complex with many building, temples and gardens.
It was the custom for the Emperor to choose a place before his death (many years) and have a large tomb built. It included gardens and temples and other buildings that were constructed over many years. He would visit this place during his lifetime to, hunt, and fish and bring some of his concubines and servants. I guess even an Emperor needs a vacation!