Emperor's Life

Trip Start Nov 05, 2007
Trip End Jun 22, 2008

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, January 6, 2008

We are now starting our trip south, our first stop was Hue. Traditionally, it has been one of Vietnam's cultural, religious and educational centers. Hue served as the political capital from 1802 to 1945 under 13 emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. Again, this is a Unesco World Heritage site (we keep stopping at these) which needs more time and attention before it is gone forever.
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!
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