Rediscovering Kien Trung Palace: A Gem of Hue’s History Reopens in 2024

Rediscovering Kien Trung Palace: A Gem of Hue’s History Reopens in 2024

Situated within the Imperial Citadel of Hue, Kien Trung Palace stands as a captivating testament to the rich heritage of Vietnam’s ancient imperial city that visitor should not miss during the Central Vietnam Tour. After meticulous restoration efforts, this historical treasure has reopened its doors in 2024, inviting travelers to delve into its storied past and architectural splendor.

Unveiling Kien Trung Palace

Splendid Beauty of Kien Trung Palace seen from above (Photo: VGP/Le Hoang)

Kien Trung Palace holds profound significance as one of the prominent structures within the Imperial Citadel area of Hue, Vietnam. Originating from 1921, it served as a pivotal location for the final two kings of the Nguyen dynasty. Despite facing near-complete destruction in 1946, dedicated restoration endeavors have seamlessly merged its antique charm with the modern architectural landscape of 20th-century Hue. Today, it stands as a favored destination for international tourists exploring Vietnam’s cultural tapestry.

  • Location and Practical Information:
  • Address: 32 Dang Thai Than Street, Phu Hau Ward, Hue City, Vietnam
  • Opening Hours: Weekdays, 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Ticket Price:
  • Adult: 200,000 VND/person (8.10 USD)
  • Child (<1.3 meters): 40,000 VND/person (1.62 USD)

Tracing the Palace’s Past

Under the rule of King Bao Dai, Kien Trung Palace underwent modernization with amenities imported from the West.

The narrative of Kien Trung Palace unfolds through the annals of history, reflecting the reigns of notable figures within the Nguyen dynasty. From the initiation of construction by King Minh Mang in 1827 to the ambitious expansion efforts of King Khai Dinh between 1921 and 1923, the palace bore witness to royal endeavors and modernization initiatives under King Bao Dai. However, its fate took a tumultuous turn with the ravages of war, culminating in its destruction in 1946. Yet, from the ashes emerged a tale of resilience and preservation as restoration commenced in February 2019, leading to the palace’s triumphant resurgence in 2024.

Embarking on a Cultural Journey

Interior furnishings of Kien Trung Palace (photo: VGP/Le Hoang)

The architectural charm of Kien Trung Palace is a fusion of Italian Renaissance, French, and traditional Vietnamese styles. Adorned with porcelain dragons, unicorns, and intricate dragon motifs symbolizing the Nguyen dynasty’s power, every detail narrates a story of opulence and grandeur. As visitors step inside, they are greeted by a sumptuous setting where history intertwines with exquisite furnishings, offering a glimpse into the imperial legacy of the Nguyen dynasty.

Planning Your Visit

Located near the heart of Hue city, Kien Trung Palace is easily accessible, whether by taxi, bus, or scooter. While the palace welcomes visitors year-round, the optimal time for exploration is during the dry season from November to April, especially between March and April. This period offers ideal weather conditions for leisurely sightseeing and exploration activities.

Tips for an Enriching Experience

Hue Monuments Conservation Center offers costume rental services at Huu Vu (behind Thai Hoa Palace) and on the ground floor of Kien Trung Palace. This aims to meet the needs for exploring and experiencing the royal life at Kien Trung Palace and within the Hue Imperial Citadel. Hence, to maximize your visit to Kien Trung Palace, it’s advisable to carry a map to navigate the extensive grounds of the imperial citadel.

Respectful attire is recommended, you should choose appropriate clothing to maintain politeness when entering the monuments and traditional Vietnamese costumes can be rented for memorable photos.

Observing monument rules, refraining from photography inside buildings, and maintaining cleanliness are essential for preserving the site’s aesthetics and cultural integrity.

Embracing Heritage, Embracing Legacy

Unique architecture of the Nguyen dynasty palace, featuring a blend of French, Italian, and traditional Vietnamese architectural styles (Photo: VGP/Le Hoang)

Kien Trung Palace isn’t merely a tourist attraction; it’s a living testament to Vietnam’s rich history and cultural heritage. As you traverse its halls and gardens, you’ll embark on a journey through time, immersing yourself in the legacy of the Nguyen dynasty and the vibrant tapestry of Vietnamese culture. So, make sure to include Kien Trung Palace in your itinerary as you explore the timeless beauty of Hue, Vietnam.