Hue is a city in Thua Thien Hue Province in Central Vietnam. Hue formerly known as Phu Xuan was chosen to be the capital of Nguyen Lords. Later on, the first Nguyen Emperor, Gia Long ordered to the construction of the Citadel which housed all the Nguyen Emperors, the last dynasty in Vietnam, from 1802-1945. The 19th-century Citadel that is surrounded by moat and thick walls is the major attraction in Central Vietnam. The Imperial City, with palaces and shrines; the Forbidden Purple City, once the emperor’s home; and a replica of the Royal Theater are all within the vicinity of the Citadel.
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The successor of Emperor Gia Long, Minh Mang, his younger child was crowned king after his elder brother, the Crown Prince Canh died from Chicken Pox when he was just 11 years old.He is for strongly disapproving the presence of the French in the country. He is worked towards reforming the country.
( Hue citadel – Hue travel guide)
In 1945, the thirteenth and the last emperor, Emperor Bao Dai abdicated his throne and proclaimed Ho Chi Minh the prime minister of Vietnam and flew to France and stayed there for the rest of his life.
Being in the Central Vietnam, between the North and South Vietnam, Hue became the site of most of the American-Vietnamese war. The bloodiest battle was during the Tet holidays of 1968, which is commonly known as Tet Offensive.
The Communists lead by Ho Chi Minh of Northern Vietnam, sent their North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops to Khe Sanh and while the Americans were concentrating in defending their base, some North Vietnam and Viet Cong troops bypassed the battlefield and went straightly to Hue.
( Khe Sanh – Hue travel guide)
The Northern troops were able to hold the city for three and a half weeks. Several more were killed during the occupation of Northern troops, including wealthy merchants, government workers (under South Vietnam President Diem’s administration), monks, priests and intellectuals. They were shot, clubbed to death or just literally buried alive. Several mass graves were found years after.
After learning that they were outsmarted by the Northern troops and the fear of losing another territory, the American soldiers in the command of General Westmoreland immediately regrouped with the South Vietnam troops and started airstrike and killed thousands North Vietnamese, Viet Cong and innocent people including women and children. The desperation of the American and South Vietnamese army to recapture the city caused severe damage to the Citadel. The Forbidden Purple City which was left in ruins after the many airstrike for months is until now under restoration. This is also due to the fact that the Vietnamese government did not pay much attention to it until tourists start visiting the city and its architectures.