Downgraded Hue temple recalls era of Nguyen Dynasty ancestor worship

Downgraded Hue temple recalls era of Nguyen Dynasty ancestor worship - VnExpress International

The temple complex, located in the southwest corner of the Imperial Citadel in Hue, was built in 1804 under King Gia Long of Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), Vietnam’s last royal family.

The complex covers an area of 15,000 square meters and is used to worship nine Nguyen lords, ancestors of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors.

Researcher Nguyen Xuan Hoa, former director of Thua Thien-Hue Province’s culure and sport department, said the Temple of Lords is the biggest architectural work in the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO heritage site.

Downgraded Hue temple recalls era of Nguyen Dynasty ancestor worship - VnExpress International

In 1947, much of the complex was burned down. In order to have a place to worship the Nguyen Dynasty lords, in 1971, Queen Mother Tu Cung and Prince Bao Long, son of Vietnam’s last king Bao Dai, contributed to rebuilding the complex in the same location.

Downgraded Hue temple recalls era of Nguyen Dynasty ancestor worship - VnExpress International

Wooden rafters have been heavily damaged by termites after years of abandonment.

Downgraded Hue temple recalls era of Nguyen Dynasty ancestor worship - VnExpress International

To prevent collapse, Hue Monuments Conservation Center reinforced the complex interior with a system of iron piles.

Downgraded Hue temple recalls era of Nguyen Dynasty ancestor worship - VnExpress International

For safety, the nine Nguyen lord altars were temporarily relocated to Trieu To Temple located behind the complex.

Trieu To Temple serves to worship Nguyen Kim, father of Nguyen Hoang, the first of the Nguyen lords to rule the southern provinces between 1558 and 1613.

Downgraded Hue temple recalls era of Nguyen Dynasty ancestor worship - VnExpress International

The complex is closed to tourists for safety reasons.

Hue is home to royal tombs, ancient palaces and pagodas that attract millions of foreign visitors every year.

Downgraded Hue temple recalls era of Nguyen Dynasty ancestor worship - VnExpress International

Broken windows inside the complex.

Downgraded Hue temple recalls era of Nguyen Dynasty ancestor worship - VnExpress International

A lonely, rusted incense burner decorates the courtyard.

Downgraded Hue temple recalls era of Nguyen Dynasty ancestor worship - VnExpress International

Vo Le Nhat, director of Hue Monuments Conservation Center, said the center is seeking cultural experts and architects to restore the deteriorating relic.

The cost for the project is estimated at VND265 billion ($11.48 million).

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