One of the most important palaces to visit in Hue Forbidden City is Kien Trung Palace. Although having damaged during the two Indochina Wars, its foundation and renovation plan is worthy for your notice during your walking tour in Hue Imperial City.
Let’s read about it here!
Kien Trung Palace, also known as the Kien Trung tower, was a palace of the Nguyen Dynasty in the Forbidden City built by Emperor Khai Dinh. He started its construction from 1921 to 1923. During this period, Khai Dinh also started the construction of his Ung Mausoleum.
Under Khai Dinh Rule
The Kien Trung Palace location is at the end and in the center-most point of the Forbidden City. The palace’s style is a combination of European-style and French-architecture.
The exterior decors is well – furbished with Italian’s Renaissance style. In addition, the traditional Vietnamese art also made this palace a unique place to visit in the Forbidden City of Hue.
An Imaginative Walking Tour to Old Kien Trung Palace
Even it is no longer there, these pictures will help to tell you how beautiful it was!
The palace’s frontispiece filled with many colorful pieces of ceramics. In front of the garden, there are three stairs which engraved with many dragons all the way up to the terrace.
The main floor has 13 entrances: the front has five doors; the next two compartments have three doors per compartment, and the two rear doors of the palace have two doors per corner.
At the top lays the unique golden tile roofs decorated in Vietnamese style. It used to be the Minh Vien floor built by Minh Mang in 1827. Khai Dinh later replaced this location with Kien Trung Floor. He was then using this castle as his favorite resting place. A well-furnished room on the left was for the Honored Prince, called “Dong Cung” and on the right side is the “Vo Ho Gia Phong”, a guarding department to protect the royal family.
Emperor Khai Dinh even placed a telescope on top to view the stars.
On November 6th 1925, Emperor Khai Dinh died at Kien Trung palace.
Under Bao Dai Rule
Later, Emperor Bao Dai repaired the palace, renovated the Western-style furniture and moved to live in Kien Trung Palace with Queen Nam Phuong. At this palace, Queen Nam Phuong gradually gave birth to five of their children: Prince Bao Long prince, Princess Phuong Mai, Princess Phuong Lien, Princess Phuong Dung and Prince Bao Thang.
During the siege of Japanese
On March 9th, the Imperial Japanese army successfully did a recoup against the French and the agreement said to return independence to Vietnam.
Two days later, on March 11st, Emperor Bao Dai summoned a senior Japanese adviser, Yokoyama Masayuki, to Kien Trung Palace to announce the independence of Vietnam, which marked the birth of the Vietnamese Empire.
In August 1945 when the Viet Minh took control of Hanoi, the Imperial Japanese Army offered to defend Kien Trung palace against the Viet Minh. However, Emperor Bao Dai refused because he did not want to shed blood.
The sad ending of Kien Trung Palace
Kien Trung palace was destroyed in December 1946 by the Viet Minh in the resistance movement against French. Thus, nowadays only the remains of the foundation and railing are in the Forbidden City area.
There is plan to reconstruct Kien Trung Palace for local residents and foreign visitors. Therefore, visitors will have chance to admire one of the most grand and stunning castles in Hue.
According to Mr Phan Thanh Hai, director of Hue Monuments Conservation Centre: “The project will start in October 2018 and it will be completed by 2023″.
When visiting Hue Imperial City, be sure to stop by Kien Trung palace to learn about the unique architecture of Vietnam in early 20th century. You’ll be amazed by its charm and stories.
Book a tour to Hue Forbidden City with a knowledgeable local guide here.