Hue City is the old capital of Vietnam during Nguyen dynasty 1802 to 1945. Hue has long history, especially from the Nguyen dynasty. Before studying more about the history of Hue, we will read about its locations.
Hue is located in the Central Region of Vietnam. Hue city belong to Thua Thien Hue province which has the north sharing the same border with Quang Tri province, the south with Danang city, the east with the East Sea, and the west with Laos. The border shared with Laos in Thua Thien Hue province stretches 88km. the coastal area between Thuan An port and Chan May deep-sea port measures a distance of 128km. The natural topography is very complex with dense jungles, high mountains, hilly areas, plains, lagoons, and coastal areas.
Khai Dinh Royal Tomb in Hue Vietnam
The climate in the tropical and monsoon area exhibits no clear difference between summer and winter. There are some months of the year we suffer from heavy rain, storms and the cold. Thua Thien Hue has eight districts and one city of Hue. Hue is the ancient capital of Vietnam, and an important cultural, educational and health care center of Vietnam.
In the historical development of Vietnam, Thua Thien Hue, or Thuan Hoa – Phu Xuan – Hue is considered an area with long history. Recent archaeological findings show that life has existed here for a very long time. Relics found show their existence dating back to 4,000 years ago.
Some stone axes found at different places such as Hong Bac, Hong Van, Hong Ha, Hong Thuy, Bac Son (A Luoi), and Phong Thu (Phong Dien) proves the existence of life for more than 5000 years. Another archeological finding, connected to Sa Huynh culture (first found in Hue in 1987), was the Cong Rang relic discovered in La chu, Huong Chu, and Huong Tra. This reveals that the practitioners of this culture had high spiritual and material lives some 2,500 years ago. These kinds of relics were also found in Cua Thieng in 1988 (Phu Oc, Tu Ha, Huong Tra). Besides Sa Huynh Culture, Dong Son Culture is also one of the assets of Thua Thien Hue. In 1994, the “Dong Son bronze drum” was found in Phong My, Phong Dien district. This is one of the genuine relics of Ancient Viet culture.
According to archived documents, Thue Thien Hue has been the meeting point of many communities of different cultures and ethnicity. During the development of Van Lang – Au Lac Nation, legends tell the Thua Thien Hue was the territory of the ethnic Viet Thuong. At the beginning of the Bac Thuoc period, this area belonged to Tuong Quan. In 116 BC, Nhat Nam was founded to replace Tuong Quan. Over the following twelve centuries, this area became the northern part of independent Champa. After the historical victory by Ngo Quyen (in 938 BC), Dai Viet became an independent nation and through centuries of development, its border expanded to the south.
Tu Duc Royal Tomb in Hue Vietnam
In 1306, Princess Huyen Tran, King Tran Anh Tong’s sister, had to leave to become the princess of the Champa nation; King Che Man surrendered the two provinces of O and Ri (Ly) as a wedding present. The following year, King Tran changed the name for these two provinces to Thuan and Hoa and appointed two mandarins to be in charge of those areas. Thua Thien Hue became the convergence point of two cultures, one of Oriental people and the other of local ethnic people.
In 1558, with the prophecy “Hoanh Son range can assure peace for the whole life”, Nguyen Hoang was appointed head of Thuan Hoa and began the era for Nguyen Lords. The era of nine Nguyen Lords in Dang Trong (South Vietnam) was closely combined with the development of Thuan Hoa, Phu Xuan. For more than three centuries since it belonged to Dai Viet, Thuan Hoa had been the land of war, the period of peace being too short to develop itself into a big urban area. The Hoa Chau period (which was formed towards the end of 15th century and beginning of 16th century), lasted only for a short time and was just a fort, rather than an urban residential area. In 1636, Lord Nguyen Phuc Lan moved his palace to Kim Long, and began the urbanizations of the area that would become the present city of Hue.
More than half century later, in 1687. Lord Nguyen Phuc Thai moved his palace to Thuy Loi Village, then again changed to Phu Xuan, located to the southwest of present Hue Imperial City. He continued to build Phu Xuan into a developed urban area of Dang Trong (South Vietnam). For a short time, the Lord Palace was moved to Bac Vong, then Vo Vuong took the throne and moved the palace back to Phu Xuan, but it had constructed to the left of the old palace, (i.e the southeast corner of Hue Imperial City). The grandiosity of Phu Xuan, under the time of Nguyen Phuc Khoat, was described by Le Quy Don in The Palace Miscellany in 1776 and in The Great Nam Unity as a developed urban area along Huong River from Kim Long – Duong Xuan to Bao Vinh – Thanh Ha. 1687 – 1774, Phu Xuan was the capital of Dang Trong and later became the capital of the Unified Dai Viet during the Quang Trung dynasty (1788-1801) and lastly, the capital of Vietnam for nearly one and a half century during the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). Phu Xuan – Hue, Thua Thien Hue has become an important political, economic, and cultural center since these early years.
Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue Vietnam
In 1858, the joint army of France and Spain opened fire on Danang, which initiated future conflicts between Vietnam and western capitalists and later between Vietnam and the U.S Thua Thien Hue had experienced two wars against the interlopers and came away with numerous victories and heroic tales.
From the years under the French colonization, until its liberation in 1975, Thua Thien Hue had undergone courageous and nationalistic fighting. This land was also the meeting place for many patriots before they began their cause of saving the country. Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chu Trinh, the famous nationalists, have been here. The young man, Nguyen Sinh Cung (Nguyen Tat Thanh, later President Ho Chi Minh) had been living here for nearly ten years of his childhood before going to the South to find a way to save the country. In 1916, Viet Nam Quang Phuc Hoi organized revolutions on a national scale with involvement of many provinces and the help of King Duy Tan.
The provincial Indochina Communist Party was founded in July 1929 and the provincial provisional Indochina Communist Trade Union was founded in 1930. In April that year, these two organizations were united and became Thua Thien Hue Communist Party, who guided the people in their revolutionary war.
On August 23, 1945, with the spirit of “Autumn Revolution”, Thua Thien Hue’s people have dethroned the last Kingn of the Nguyen dynasty. A week later on August 30, Thua Thien Hue people witnessed the abdication of King Bao Dai, the last king of Viet Nam feudalism. During the French war, local names such as Duong Hoa, Hoa My and others were known all over the country for their glorious victories. For twenty-one years of the American war, Thua Thien Hue represented one of the three pioneer flags of South Viet Nam’s war against the invaders. On March 26, 1975, Thua Thien Hue was completely liberated, and this, in turn, contributed to the liberation of South Vietnam and the unification of the whole country and together with the rest of the country, socialism was built.
Overcoming the difficulties after the war, Thua Thien Hue has been attempting to catch up with the development of other areas of the country. The lessons learned have helped Thua Thien Hue to enter the new millennium with confidence and determination in order to build a beautiful, strong province; to make it deserving of the sacrifice of the heroes, as well as the recognition of being a world cultural heritage site.
The Most Comprehensive Guide to Hue City Vietnam – Hue World Cultural Heritage