A long time ago, the city was called Phu Xuan. In 1744, Phu Xuan became the capital of the southern part of Vietnam, which was under the rule of the Nguyen Lords. Later, it was renamed Hue by Nguyen Anh who crowned himself Emperor Gia Long, thus founding the Nguyen Dynasty, which ruled the country, at least in name, until 1945. Immediately upon his accession, Gia Long began the decades-long construction of the Citadel.
Located in central Vietnam, roughly midway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and attractively sited on the banks of the Perfume River, Hue was the capital of the Nguyen Emperors from 1802 to 1945. For nearly 400 years, Hue used to be the political & cultural center of the Feudalism in Vietnam. Hence, hundreds of historic, cultural vestiges still remain, particularly the palaces and mausoleums of the lords and kings under Nguyen Dynasty. Thanks to these vestiges, Hue has been granted as one of the World's Cultural Heritage Sites on December 11th 1993.
Hue City is one of places which have many cultural heritage. Up to now, there is no place like Hue remaining a lot of originally historical vestiges as in this ancient Capital City.
On the northern bank of Perfume River has relics consisting of palaces, which were constructed as arc defensive ramparts with 11km length. This valuable construction includes more than 100 architectural works which were extremely reflected the life of Emperors and mandarins under reign of Nguyen.
Situated in the middle of hills on the southern bank of Perfume River are very beautiful tombs of Kings Nguyen. Among these tombs are the four famous ones with the name and the arrangements of the tomb reflected each Emperor's points of view, personality and tastes. This is majestic Gia Long Tomb, imposing Minh Mang Tomb, poetic Tu Duc Tomb and magnificent Khai Dinh Tomb.
Hue is also an important center of Buddhism. In Hue and its surrounding still exist tens of pagodas constructed more 300 years ago, and a hundred of temples and pagodas built in the early century. Besides, Hue is a place where the royal music is originated, and a place with traditional famous dishes and sophisticated handicraft.
As a unique city of Vietnam still remains its form of City under Middle Age and the constructions of monarchic, Hue has become a big and invaluable museum. Therefore, vestiges in Hue ancient capital have been classified by the government as a very precious property and on December 1993 Hue has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.