The Palace of Supreme Harmony or Thai Hoa Palace was built in 1805. Also known as the Throne Palace, it was the backbone of the Emperor’s court during the Nguyen Dynasty’s period, where many decisions were made, where laws were passed and where many historical meetings and gatherings of the royal household, members of monasteries and monarch’s attendants were done. It was the most important structure of the royal palace and saw many official receptions, meetings, rituals and official ceremonies during its glorious days.
It was built by Emperor Gia Long and was first used in 1806 for his coronation. The edifice is 144 feet long, 100 feet wide and 38 feet tall, occupying a total space of 1,300 square meters. It is supported by 80 red-painted pillars with golden dragons and has on ornate timber roof. It consists of two halls: the ante-chamber and the main hall. The main hall is 43.3 meters long and 30.3 meters wide. The main hall also houses the throne of the Emperor. Over this throne hangs a board that says “Palace of Supreme Harmony” in Chinese characters.
The throne is on an elevated platform and nine ancient stone slabs divide the two levels of its courtyard. These levels are where the Emperor’s officials sat according to their ranks. The administrative mandarins occupied one level and the military mandarins occupied the other.
Inside the Throne Palace, the sounds carry through the whole place. In addition, the insulation was said to provide great protection from heat and cold during summer and winter respectively. Inside the palace, it’s cool in summer and warm in winter.
The Hoa Thai, among all the buildings and structures within the Imperial Enclosure, is the only one left largely undestroyed by the bombing during the American-Vietnam war in 1968. It is located within short distance from other structures worth exploring in Hue, and today it is one of the most visited structures in the city.
REASONS TO VISIT THE THAI HOA PALACE
- Get Cultured. Be educated and informed about arts, culture and the way of living of people from another country. If you’re traveling with your kids, you have even more reasons to visit the palace and you’d be wise to expose your kids to such structures of great historical significance.
- Enjoy sight-seeing. Within the palace perimeter are located other interesting structures. Feast your eyes on the ancient architecture of the buildings. If you’re a lover of everything beautiful, you’ll surely enjoy visiting the palace. Unfortunately, you can’t take pictures of it as it is not allowed.
- Learn more about Vietnam. The best way to know a country and its people is to learn more about its past. The Thai Hoa Palace is definitely rich in that. In fact, the whole of Hue city has more to offer by way of cultural and historical attractions than any other city of Vietnam. The whole area of the palace alone is full of interesting pieces and fragments of history that are not only educationally stimulating but are also fascinating.