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[Photos] Old Film Photos Capture a Serene Huế in 1961

These colorful photos of Huế in the early 1960s provide outsiders an important view of the country at a pivotal time. 

LIFE Magazine, the most popular photography publication in the United States at the time, played a critical role in forming Americans' understanding of Vietnam and the world in the 1960s and 1970s. While later issues would feature some of the most iconic images of the war, which helped to turn public opinion against America's involvement, earlier releases focused on less overtly military-related photographs.

These images by John Dominis, taken in 1961 while he was reporting on the escalating conflict, captured a peaceful side of the ancient capital. In fact, they give no suggestion at all of the atrocities to come that the magazine would so closely cover.

Nature in Huế commingles with and complements manmade structures at famous sites such as the tomb of Minh Mạng and the area encircling the citadel. The photo series highlights the peace such contrasts bring, and hints at the city's rich history via shots of a royal music performance as well as photos of the agricultural underpinnings in the surrounding rural areas. 

Have a look at the photos below:

A serene scene at the tomb of Minh Mạng.

The stairs leading towards Minh Lâu at the the tomb of Minh Mạng.

A music performance at the Imperial Citadel.

Closeup on the performers. 

Performers in action. 

An audience gathers for the performances. 

The plant-filled moat surrounding the Imperial Citadel. 

Farmers working in the fields supported by the Perfume River. 

[Photos via RedsVN]

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