Hue is famous for the Citadel – Imperial City, royal tombs, temples and pagodas which proves the city’s goal to retain the ancient royal heritage, architecture and artifacts.
Gardens are incorporated in most of the famous tourist destinations as part of the belief of Feng Shui harmonizing everyone to its surrounding thus having the 5 elements, metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The whole garden area is arranged in line with Feng Shui and usually has main and back entrances with surrounding fence, small wall next to the entrance to wave away bad spirits, rockwork, numerous plants and the house itself. But when a garden house is being built, the house owner sees to it that it reflects its lifestyle and status in the community, thus creating diversity.
(An Hien garden house – Hue travel guide)
Hue has a lot of garden houses and many of which were built hundred years ago. These garden houses accommodated royals, high ranking mandarin officials, noblemen and Confucian scholars.
An Hien garden is one of the well-known gardens in Hue City. An Hien garden house is located in 68 Nguyen Phuc Nguyen Street which is in the north bank of Perfume River. It is a usual tourist destination as it is close to the Citadel, Perfume River and Thien Mu Pagoda.
==>Read more: Hue citadel
An Hien garden was built in the late 19th century and it was originally for the 18th daughter of the fifth Emperor Duc Duc of Nguyen dynasty. The garden area is 4608 square meters. The 18th daughter of Emperor Duc Duc used An Hien garden as her residence, worshipping place and for receiving high ranking officials and/or scholars visiting the Imperial City.
After 1895, it was transferred to Pham Dang Thap, a son of a high-ranking mandarin during the first Emperor Gia Long’s reign and nephew of Mother Empress Tu Du. Not long after, in 1920, the house was again transferred to Tung Le then in 1938 it was bought by the provincial chief, Nguyen Dinh Chi. When he died, his wife, Dao Thi Yen continued to use the garden house as her residence. Since then, the family has been the only care taker of the An Hien garden house.
(An Hien garden house)
The entrance to the An Hien garden is a small gate which was painted gray but now starting to fade. Upon entering the garden house, two rows of plum trees were arranged that it looks like an archway for the path and ends to the decorated wall in front of the garden house itself. The pond between the garden house and the wall is full of water lilies and lotus flowers.
Most parts of the house are still the original woods that were used to build the house. The garden house has 48 columns for worshipping ancestors and Buddha, a reading pavilion and other buildings.
Surrounding the garden house are fruit bearing and non-fruit bearing trees and flowering plants. Some of the plants in the garden are rare plants. Most of them were given to the care taker as the gift from other provinces and or country like Japan.
An Hien garden house a perfect place to visit for everyone. Elderly people and children will not have a hard time going around looking at beautiful flowers and trying the seasonal fruits within the garden. The An Hien garden house is another way to enjoy such romantic city like Hue.