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Entries in Imperial City (10)


Imperial City Re-Visited IV

The lion guarding the entrance to the Imperial City. A faithful sentry for centuries. Certainly stopped me in my tracks. [NOTE: Off to Hanoi in a few minutes].

Imperial City Re-Visited III

You can't have too much color or too many dragons on a roof, I say. A small taste of the architectural exuberance on display at the Imperial City. Not sure which cluster of buildings this is. It's near the main entrance.

Imperial City Re-Visited II

One of the nicest entrances of any house I've ever seen. Makes sense, though. Image shows the doorway to the Dien Thu residence. Built in 1804, this was the living quarters of the Emperor's grandmother.

Imperial City Re-Visited

Spent a lovely day yesterday exploring the Imperial City (see Imperial City) in Hue. Weather was overcast and comfortable, so I went slow and took a lot of pictures. I will be sharing these over the next couple of days. Image above shows the Tinh Minh building. It was renovated in the 1950s and used as President Bao Dai's private residence. [NOTE: Bao Dai was also the final emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, which is why, I guess, he was allowed to live in the Imperial City].

Imperial Pond

Pond at Imperial City (see Imperial City) in Hue, Vietnam with Nymphaea lilies, ornate brick fence, tree, and perimeter wall. I remember when I took this picture that I thought it looked like a painting. Still do. [NOTE: Have no idea what species of tree this is].


The Tree in the Pot

Somebody thought that adding a flowering tree in a pot would enhance the ambience at the Imperial City in Hue (see Imperial City). And then several years went by and they forgot about the little tree. And it got pot bound, and then turned into a bonsai specimen with a lovely, yet labored architecture. And one small pink flower. For me, indeed a significant enhancement to the weathered yellow and red building behind it. [NOTE: I may have been the only visitor that day who paused, reflected, and took a photo of this tree].  


Beat The Drum

Kasan, giving instruction said, "Practice and learning is called 'hearing'; complete learning is called 'being next to the fact'. When you have passed through these two it is called 'true passing'."

A monk stepped forward and asked "What is the 'true passing'?"

Kasan said, "Beat the drum".

He asked again, "What is the true reality?"

Kasan said, "Beat the drum".

He asked again, "I do not ask about the sentence 'Mind itself is Buddha (Case 30, Mumonkan), but what does 'Neither mind nor Buddha' (Case 33, Mumonkan) mean?"

Kasan said, "Beat the drum".

He asked once more, "When someone who knows the ultimate Truth comes, how should we receive him?"

Kasan said, "Beat the drum!'

-from the Blue Cliff Record, Case 44: Kasan's "Beat the Drum".

[NOTE: Drum is from the Imperial City in Hue, Vietnam].


Clean, Paint, and Gild

Two of four women sitting in a shady corridor at the Imperial City (see Imperial City and Reflections) in Hue and patiently restoring a large, red door that is over 200 years old. First they clean out all of the little nooks and crannies, and then they carefully touch-up the red paint with a small brush, and finally, they rub on the gold leaf with a simple burnishing tool (which looks very much like a stick). [NOTE: I know this sequence because I spent quite a while discretely observing their work - and enjoying the shady breeze]. 



This sign on a 210 year-old wall at the Imperial City (see Imperial City) in Hue, Vietnam.  What a beautiful, graffiti-free, place. [NOTE: Beautiful - and scorching hot in the mid-morning sun. Too bright for photos in most places].


Imperial City

The Imperial City or Citadel in Hue, was the capital of the Nguyen dynasty from 1802 to 1945. The sprawling complex, located on the northern bank of the Perfume River, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Some of the buildings have been beautifully restored:

Others provide a stark testimony to the impermanence of imperial dreams. [NOTE: This was a wonderful place to spend a few hours while waiting for permits (thx, Ms. Ngoc)].