History of establishment and development
Early in the 18th, Phu Xuan became the political, economic and culturalhe fact that the Nguyen Dynasty selected Hue as its capital and invested in construction during one and a half centuries has left Hue City with a voluminous cultural heritage. This includes material architecture with a complex of splendid and luxurious palaces, mausoleums, citadel and ramparts, temples and others. Moreover, an intangible heritage, consisting of precious spiritual sources, habits and customs, festivals, art branches, and traditional handicrafts, which were constructed by the great effort of generations, has given Hue city a salient and specific value, as well as its own unique identity.
This romantic land area has had to undergo many fierce wars and severe impacts of environment and climate. Consequently, the Hue monument complex was once seriously degraded. In a visit to Hue in November 1981, the General Director of UNESCO, Mr. Amadou Mahtar M’Bow had to appeal for ‘saving Hue’ with words from the bottom of his heart, “Hue, where the national culture identity is apparent, must be saved for Vietnam and the world because Hue is a component of mankind’s cultural heritage”. Many positive action programs have been implemented by Hue-UNESCO Workgroup and the Vietnamese authorities, in order to gradually restore and preserve the Hue monument complex since that appeal was put forth. The efforts made in the following twelve years have brought a happy result; namely that the Hue Ancient Capital City was listed in the world cultural heritages by the World Heritage Council in December 1993. It is written: “Hue’s monument complex is a typical example of the urbanization and architecture of a defensive capital. It shows the power of Vietnam’s ancient feudal kingdom in the splendid age of the 20th century.” Hue’s monument complex has become the 410 th heritage site in the list of world heritages.
Hue’s monument complex, now a world cultural heritage site, is national invaluable property and a pride of Vietnamese people and the whole of human kind. That heritage has not been only “saved”, but also gradually restored to life. The work of reviving the Hue ancient capital’s monument complex is very difficult and complicated. This process requires a long duration of implementation, big expenditure, and skillful staff of officers, experts and workers who have a thorough grasp of technological science and deep knowledge. In addition, they must inherit the traditional professions of their ancestors. Hue’s monument complex previously had 1,200 works, but now there are only 480, of which many have been seriously damaged. However, with a policy of improving and protecting the national culture issued by the Vietnamese government and international assistance, over thirty works have been completely repaired and hundreds of others preserved and partly repaired in the last decade years.
On February 12, 1996, the “Project of planning preservation and developing values of Hue ancient capital’s monuments in 1995-2010” was approved by the Vietnamese Government with the total investment capital of VND 720 billion (equivalent to approximate USD 60 million). This is a rather big and comprehensive project for preserving, restoring, embellishing and developing the value of Hue’s spiritual and material cultural heritage and environmental landscape. If this project is carried out completely, seriously, and meets all qualitative requirements, Hue is certainly deserving to be the WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE site as it is so respected.