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Hue to Spend $20m to Restore 5 Historical Sites From Nguyen Dynasty

Five sites in the ancient capital will be restored at a total cost of over VND460 billion (nearly US$20.2 million) over the next five years.

Hue's Imperial Academy (Quốc Tử Giám), Cần Chánh Palace, the Nam Giao altar, Emperor Thiệu Trị's tomb and Emperor Tự Đức's tomb are all set for refurbishment in the next half-decade, according to VnExpress.

The heritage sites are said to be in bad shape after decades of neglect and normal environmental deterioration. Restorations will not only preserve important cultural and architectural elements for scholars to learn valuable details about Vietnam's dynastic period, but also assist in the former capital remaining a tourism destination.

Restorations of the Nam Giao altar, where Nguyễn offerings of animal sacrifices and other gifts took place, are already underway, with an estimated completion date of 2023. Efforts to repair the structure built in 1806 include reinforcing walls and cleaning stone surfaces. It is expected to cost VND24 billion (US$1.03 million).

Meanwhile, VND200 billion is dedicated to bringing Cần Chánh Palace, which was built in 1804, back to its former glory. One of the earliest works of architecture in the Imperial Citadel, the palace was used to entertain the royal family and foreign dignitaries but was ruined by war in 1947. 

The Imperial Academy, one of the oldest educational institutions in the country, will require VND60 billion to bring it up to standards. The same amount of money will be required to restore the tomb of the Nguyễn's third ruler, Thiệu Trị. Finally, VND99 billion will be spent to improve the state of Tự Đức's tomb, seven kilometers outside of the city. 

As Vietnam eyes opening up to foreign visitors, Hue will remain an important tourism destination. Pre-pandemic, in 2019 Hue welcomed more than 4.8 million guests, 2.1 million of whom were international travelers.

[Top image by Gian-Reto Tarnutzer via Unsplash]