Throne Palace (Dien Thai Hoa) and Great Rites Court

Location: Throne Palace (Dien Thai Hoa) faces the Ngo Mon Gate and lies right on the central axis of the Hue Citadel.
Characteristics: The Throne Palace, or Palace of the Supreme Harmony, was the building for great court's meetings. It was constructed in 1805 by Emperor Gia Long and used later in 1806 for his coronation.

In 1833, it was moved onto a foundation of 2.33m high by Emperor Minh Mang. It is 44m long, 30.50m large, 11.80m high and contains a 5-compartment, two-bay main building connected with a 7-compartment, two-bay front building. The columns are lacquered red and decorated with golden dragon designs. On the roof ridge rest two dragon designs paying homage to the moon. Eaves and roof corners are ornamented with head-turning dragon designs. These and the moldings along the eaves are inlaid with multicolored ceramic chips. The roof is covered with yellow enameled tiles.

 

Over the middle compartment hangs a carved board with big Chinese characters "Thai Hoa Dien" (Palace of Supreme Harmony). Inside is the throne, covered by a golden canopy with brocaded circular dragon designs. Above each compartment hangs a colorful glass-sided hexagonal or octagonal lantern. In 1839, in an attempt to adorn this historic monument, Emperor Minh Mang ordered the framework to be lacquered red and gold. It was later supplied with European-styled paving by Emperor Thanh Thai, in 1899, and colored glass door on front and back sides by Emperor Khai Dinh, in 1923. (It was originally left open and shaded with blinds only).

 

The interior decorations include some jugs and other antiques. On the court stands a line of carved pedestals, each with a vase for rare plants. Constructors of the Throne Palace have succeeded masterly in creating two contradictory features: cool in summer and warm in winter. From the throne in the center, one can also distinctively hear sounds made anywhere in the palace. Of this phenomenon, no researcher in acoustics or architecture could ever give an exact explanation.

 

 

The great court in front of the palace, known as the Great Rites Court (or Esplanade of Great Salutation), is paved with Thanh stones and consists of two terraces: the upper was reserved for high-ranking civil and military mandarins. On both sides of the court are two rows of small steles called Pham Son showing the positions mandarins should take according to their ranks.

 

The lower terrace, beside the Trung Dao (Central Path) Bridge, is for elders and village authorities in ceremonial occasions. At both corners of the court stand two bronze Kylins. Kylin is traditionally a harbinger of peace and a reminder of ritual solemnity.

 

Between Ngo Mon Gate and the court is the Thai Dich Lake (Grand Liquid Lake), dug in 1833 and spanned by the Trung Dao (Central Path) Bridge. The bridge, secured by iron banisters, connects the two monuments. At both ends we find a gateway elaborately carved with five-clawed dragon designs in high relief (dragons among clouds on bronze columns). Though symmetrically built, the two columns with two dragons, one slithering down and one soaring up really create an attractive liveliness.

 

The Throne Palace is the site where solemn ceremonies took place such as: the Coronation Day, the Crown Prince Coronation Day, the Ambassador Receiving Ceremony, Emperor's Birthday Anniversaries, etc. Great meetings were held here twice a month while regular ones took place in the Can Chanh Palace (Palace of Audiences) behind the Great Golden Gate. The Palace was seriously damaged in 1968 during the American bombings. Typhoons, rains and floods have aggravated the calamity and thus deprived the monument of original appearance.

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WHERE TO STAY
New Star Hotel

Add: 36 Chu Van An St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3834 647/ 3946 555

Pilgrimage Village Boutique resort & Spa

Add: 130 Minh Mang St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3885 461

Imperial Hotel

Add: 8 Hung Vuong St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3882 222

Indochine Palace Hotel

Add: 105A Hung Vuong St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3936 666

La Residence Hotel & Spa

Add: 5 Le Loi St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3837 475

Green Hue Hotel

Add: 2 Le Loi St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 2220 555

Romance Hotel

Add: 16 Nguyen Thai Hoc St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3898 888

Park View Hotel

Add: 9 Ngo Quyen St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3837 382/ 3837 740

Muong Thanh Holiday Hotel

Add: 38 Le Loi St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3936 688

Mondial Hue Hotel

Add: 17 Nguyen Hue St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3945 599

Heritage Hue Hotel

Add: 9 Ly Thuong Kiet St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3838 887/ 3838 888

Duy Tan 2 Hotel

Add: 46 Tran Quang Khai St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3936 986

Duy Tan Hotel

Add: 12 Hung Vuong St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3825 001/ 3826 479

Alba Spa Hotel

Add: 29 Tran Quang Khai St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3828 444

Jasmine Hotel

Add: 8-10 Chu Van An St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3830 111

EMM Hue Hotel

Add: 15 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3828 255

Moonlight Hue Hotel

Add: 20 Pham Ngu Lao St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3979 797

Midtown Hotel

Add: 29 Doi Cung St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 6260 888

Huong Giang Hotel Resort & Spa

Add: 51 Le Loi St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3822 122

Hotel Saigon Morin

Add: 30 Le Loi St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3823 526

WHERE TO EAT
Take restaurant

Add: 34 Tran Cao Van St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3848 262

Duyen Anh restaurant

Add: Phu My Commune, Phu Vang Dist.

Tel: (84-234) 3850 195

Nam Chau Hoi Quan restaurant

Add: 4 Kim Long St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3510 587/ 3590 111

Ong tao restaurant

Add: 31 Chu Van An St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3821 732

Leaf Info restaurant

Add: 96 Minh Mang St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3896 538

Ca Dao restaurant

Add: 142/2 Nguyen Sinh Cung St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3938 795/ 0935 4850 52

Little Italy restaurant

Add: 2A Vo Thi Sau St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3826 928

Chillout Mai Vien restaurant

Add: 11 Vo Thi Sau St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3933 868

Space Xua restaurant

Add: 205 Dien Bien Phu St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3886 788

Khai Hoan restaurant

Add: 90-94 Le Loi St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3837 827

World-weary restaurant

Add: 65/16 Le Ngo Cat St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3886 296

So 1 Hang Me restaurant

Add: 12 Vo Thi Sau St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 0905 1906 80

Quynh Huong restaurant

Add: 133 Nguyen Sinh Cung St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3822 890

Ngu Uyen restaurant

Add: 6 Nguyen Hue St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3626 533

Ancient Hue restaurant

Add: 4/4/8 K35 Pham Thi Lien St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3590 356

Banh Beo Ba Cu restaurant

Add: 23/177 Phan Dinh Phung St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3832 890

Club Garden restaurant

Add: 12 Vo Thi Sau St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3826 327

Com hen Truong Dinh restaurant

Add: 2 Truong Dinh St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3833 511

Huyen Anh restaurant

Add: 52/1 Kim Long Ward, Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3826 655

Lac Thanh restaurant

Add: 6A Dinh Tien Hoang St., Hue City

Tel: (84-234) 3524 674