Hue royal palace removed for restoration

 After over a century, Thai Hoa Palace inside the Hue Imperial Citadel where Nguyen kings and functionaries once convened for political discussions have been dismantled for major restoration.

Thai Hoa Palace was built in 1805 during the reign of King Gia Long, the first ruler of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), Vietnam's last royal family. It used to be the venue for political discussions, coronation ceremonies and the king's birthday celebrations.

After over 100 years of existence, the palace has been badly deteriorated.

Earlier, the Center for Conservation of Hue Monuments, which manages the Hue Imperial Citadel and other relics from the Nguyen Dynasty, was granted a license to carry out the renovation project.

Over the past two days, dozens of workers have participated in the dismantling. The roof tile system was removed first.

At the main hall, the foundation is covered with iron plates to avoid being broken when workers remove the roof tiles.

Covering an area of 1,360 square meters, the hall is supported by 80 ironwood pillars decorated with dragons symbolizing the power of the Nguyen Dynasty. The front and main halls of the palace are connected by a system of arched ceilings, which gives a crab shell-like appearance.

The system of stone pillars in the palace corridor is carefully wrapped with plastic bags and wooden frames.

Wooden bars that are already rotten will be removed.

The system of decorative dragons and royal lapis lazuli tiles are gathered in one place for reuse after restoration.

After many restorations, Thai Hoa Palace retains its majesty. However, the harsh weather in Hue has taken its toll with many wooden structures having rotted and roof tiles damaged.

Along with the dismantling, artisans from the northern Ha Nam Province hastened to hew wooden poles to replace the termite-infested ones.

The restoration project that costs around VND150-billion ($6.53 million) is expected to complete in August 2025. During the restoration, the image of Thai Hoa Palace before the dismantling will be displayed around the protective fence for visitors to admire.

Entry tickets to the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO heritage site, costs VND200,000 per person.

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