Among a wide range of palaces in the Imperial Palace – Hue Citadel, Thai Hoa Palace is the largest and most beautiful place which occupies the most prestigious position. If Ngo Mon and Ngu Phung Tower are the impressive face, Thai Hoa palace is the heart of the Hue Imperial Citadel that you should not miss.
The Hearty Location
Before starting your walking tour in Hue Imperial City, it shall be good to know a little about the place before you go. Thai Hoa’s location behind the Ngo Mon Gate makes it the first thing you see after entering the Imperial City. You will continue crossing the Trung Dao and Thai Dich Lake. Finally, passing through 3 yards of Dai Trieu Nghi courtyard, you will arrive at Thai Hoa Palace.
Let’s discover the impressive artwork and function with us!
The Origin of Thai Hoa Palace
In 1805, Thai Hoa Palace was built by Gia Long Emperor and become a crucial architecture of the Imperial City.
Minh Mang Emperor helped to remodel Thai Hoa palace to its current look nowadays.
Many later Nguyen Kings decorated it with more artistic features such as enamel floor, red and gold lacquer, Bat Trang tiles on the roof.
Serving as the palace to host meeting with Royal Mandarins twice per month following Lunar Calendar, this special palace also was a place to host important ceremony within the Royal Family of Nguyen. One of the biggest was for Khai Dinh Emperor’s 40th birthday.
It stood in the Hue Imperial City as the symbol of Nguyen power seat till the end of Nguyen Dynasty in 1945. Bao Dai Emperor was the last one to use Thai Hoa palace as the meeting hall.
Thai Hoa Palace during the Tet Offensive
One of the most dramatic events that changed the architecture of Thai Hoa Palace was the most famous Battle of Hue, The Tet Offensive in 1968. Like many other architectural works in Hue Citadel, Thai Hoa palace was badly damaged. However, its frontal location combined with severe fighting had made it the main target from two forces, the North Vietnam and South Republic of Vietnam.
Here are some pictures about Thai Hoa Palace during Tet Offensive:
Palace of Supreme Harmony present-day
With huge support from UNESCO and many foreign NGOs, Thai Hoa palace was restored and became the most impressive place to visit in Hue Imperial City. We will help you see what you will expect when visiting Thai Hoa Palace.
A Walking Tour in Thai Hoa Palace
The Impressive First Look
Thai Hoa Palace is the most typical example of the Imperial Nguyen Dynasty architecture style. You will be confronting a large building covered with yellow tiles roof.
The roof edges are well-decorated with dragon motifs which curve upwards.
Also, there are two lines of stone marks on the side of this Hue Imperial City palace. They are playing as the royal officer’s ranking.
The artistic feature in the building highlights the famous Longevity symbol on the two sides.
The Artistic Hall
Continue walking the inside of Palace of Supreme Harmony, you will see the Emperor throne in the most-centered location in the hall. This is the National Treasury nowadays for its historical and artistic values.
All the palace’s interiors are also elaborate with dragons motif. The entire hall is supported by 80 ironwood pillars, all painted and lacquered with dragon playing in the clouds.
Apart from its great size, elegant design, and fine decoration,
Thai Hoa is the place to host the largest Nhat Thi Nhat Hoa decoration. It means “one poem, one painting”. These are special artwork of Nguyen Dynasty to promote the beauty of Vietnam as well as to nurture the national pride.
In addition, you will see more of the dragons motifs on every details of the hall. The throne, the most important and sacred position – is decorated with numerous dragons on four sides. Dragons are found on the doors behind the throne as well.
It is a special palace in the Hue Imperial City compound that meets of all quintessences of architecture, decoration and constructive techniques of the Nguyen dynasty. To understand more about Nguyen achievement, visit Thai Hoa Palace.
You shall be leaving Hue with a huge appreciation for a Dynasty that shaped an impressive identity for Vietnam.
How to have a fruitful walk in Thai Hoa Palace?
The Palace opens daily from 07:00 to 17:30. Best time to visit is morning and afternoon. The Hue Imperial City shall be hot during mid day. Thus, prepare good walking shoes, water and proper dress code.
Hue Imperial City entrance fee is 150,000 VND/ person. To save money, at least $5/ person, you can buy combo tickets of 280,000 VND that includes (Imperial City, Minh Mang and Khai Dinh) or 360,000 VND (Imperial City, Minh Mang, Khai Dinh, Tu Duc).
You can also request an on-site tour guide at the ticket booth with 150,000 VND/ group two people. However, their English is not guaranteed and they only take you around the Hue Imperial City and Purple Forbidden City for an hour.
The alternative that we strongly recommend Hué Walk of Imperial City tour with an expert Hue guide from Bee Bee Travel.
You will explore the most outstanding palaces while learning meaningful stories of Nguyen Dynasty.