Excellent Universal Value Synthesis
The Complex of Hue Monuments is one of the most remarkable landscapes located in and around Hue City in Thua Thien-Hue Province, in Vietnam’s geographical center, with easy access to the sea. Hue, established as the capital of unified Vietnam in 1802 CE, was not only the political but also the cultural and religious center of the Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam’s last royal dynasty, from 1802 to 1945 CE.
The new capital’s design adheres to ancient oriental philosophy while also taking into account the physical conditions of the site.
The Ngu Binh Mountain (also known as the Royal Screen) and the Perfume River, which keeps running through the city, provide a beautiful natural setting for this unique feudal capital while also defining its symbolic significance. The location was chosen for a combination of natural features – hills acting as a protective screen in front of the monuments or as “a blue dragon” to the left and “a white tiger” to the right – that shield the doorway and prevent malicious spirits from entering. The main features of the city are laid out within this landscape.
The constructions of the Complex of Hue Monuments – is one of the most remarkable landscapes of Vietnam are deliberately put within the site’s natural setting and metaphysically aligned with the Five Cardinal Points (centre, west, east, north, south), the Five Elements (earth, metal, wood, water, fire), and the Five Colors (yellow, white, blue, black, red).
The Hue Citadel area served as the administrative center of southern Vietnam during the 17th and 18th centuries CE. The Hue Citadel housed not only the Empire’s military and administrative functions, but also the Imperial Residence, the Hoang Thanh (Imperial City), the Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Purple City), and other royal palaces.
Tran Binh Dai, a supplemental defensive work in the Capital City’s north-east edge, was created to handle river movement. Tran Hai Thanh, some other fortification built later, was built to protect the capital from sea attacks.
There are several significant monuments located outside of the Capital City. Essential ceremonial sites linked to the dynasty’s moral growth, such as the Van Mieu (Temple of Literature), the Dan Nam Giao (Esplanade of Sacrifice to Heaven and Earth), the Ho Quyen (Royal Area), the Den Voi Re (Temple of the Roaring Elephant), and the Chua Thien Mu, were situated in the surrounding suburbs (Celestial Lady Pagoda).
The Complex of Hue Monuments is one of the most remarkable examples of the planning and construction of a complete defended capital city in a relatively short period in the early years of the 19th century CE. The integrity of the town layout and building design make it an exceptional specimen of late feudal urban planning in East Asia.
THE COMPLEX OF HUE MONUMENTS IS ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE
The Hue Monument Complex is an excellent demonstration of an eastern mediaeval capital.
The site of the Complex of Hue Monuments has been impacted by three wars, as well as revolutionary progress and increasing human resettlement. Nonetheless, the complex of monuments within its landscape setting has been sufficiently well retained or documented as a whole to prove that the site’s overall authenticity has been sustained.
Within the property’s and its buffer zone’s well-protected boundaries, all of the key elements of monumental arts and town planning required to express the value for which the site is inscribed on the World Heritage List are included. However, neither boundary includes the property’s larger landscape setting, its relationship with the natural landscape, or the other temples and burial sites along the Perfume River connected with the landmarks within it.
The unique layout of the design of the site, which became the imperial capital of the Vietnam Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries, explains the authenticity of the Complex of Hue Monuments. The site’s basic architectural and urban features have been preserved since their initial building in the early nineteenth century CE.
The Huong River’s geographical location, within which the citadel, temples, and tombs have been laid out according to magical fundamentals, proves the symbolic significance, glamour, and importance of the location. Within this context, the original plan is still visible. Nevertheless, some of the characteristics that allow comprehension of the river’s larger relationship are outside the boundary. Urbanization and infrastructural facilities may jeopardize the town’s overall setting within its scenery.
Even though number of the constructions are now in destructions and the majority of the significant existing landmarks have been severely compromised, this has been done using traditional techniques and materials in accordance with global professional preservation criteria to ensure the monuments’ authenticity.
Concerns remain that flooding, insect attack, and unsuitable development within the site could jeopardize the site’s authenticity and ability to articulate its Outstanding Universal Value.
Protection and Management Needs
The Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam owns the entire Complex of Hue Monuments. The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, placed directly under the Thua Thien Hue Provincial People’s Committee and guided by the 1972 Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the National Heritage Law (2001, revised in 2009), and some of other regional regulatory requirements and judgements, is the institution responsible for the complex’s administration and the protection of its universal value.
This institution, which employs over 700 people from a variety of professional backgrounds, deals with urban planning, investigations, meaningful and intangible historic buildings, production of materials reproduction, visitor management, and the making plans and safeguards of the scenery setting and related functions in the buffer state and instantly surrounding area.
The Complex of Hue Monuments is one of the most remarkable sceneries is given special attention in Thua Thien Hue Province’s Socio-Economic Development Master Plan, which provides guidance for the complex’s conservation and restoration through 2020. In addition, on June 7, 2010, the Prime Minister approved an Adjusted Planning Framework for the Complex of Hue Monuments (2010-2020). This should govern any future infrastructure projects that may have an impact on the property. The specifics of how this will protect the site should be explained in the Management Plan, which should be integrated into the Hue regulatory framework (the Master Plan).
The Management Plan must be completed as soon as possible. The Plan’s foundation should be the accepted Statement of Outstanding Universal Value. The protected area is being rezoned with the purpose of controlling increasing urbanization and infrastructure development.
It is critical that the necessary works to reduce the negative impact of noise and visual pollution on the Minh Mang and Khai Dinh tombs, as well as the impact of the new highway, are completed. Any residual illegal structures on the site must be demolished.
Besides development, climate change and natural disasters are potential issues for long-term management companies. Three reservoirs are being built upstream along the Perfume River to minimize the impact of recurring floods. In addition, the conventional water system and proper drainage within and around the Citadel will be restored, reducing the weakness of the World Heritage property and its inhabitants to flood risk and re-creating the historic network of ponds and canals.
The level of tourism at the Hue Monuments is increasing to the point where it must be managed so that it does not exceed the site’s capacity. This issue should be discussed in the Management Plan as well.