|The 186-year-old astronomy station, Quan Tuong Dai, has recently been renovated in the former royal citadel of Hue. -- VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
THUA THIEN HUE (VNS)– A 186-year-old astronomy station in the former royal citadel of Hue has been rebuilt for tourists visiting the central city.
The station, known to Vietnamese as Quan Tuong Dai, is located in Nam Minh fortress, in the south west of the citadel. Nam Minh is among 24 fortresses in the citadel.
The station was built in 1827 under the reign of King Minh Mang (1820-41) and was used as a location for royal experts to observe the climate and other natural phenomena, predict weather patterns and construct a calendar.
The station consists of a sky watching tower and an octagonal roofed temple surrounded by flags used for monitoring the direction of the wind.
According to Phan Thanh Hai, director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, even though the original station was not built on a large scale, it was concrete evidence of the meteorological and astronomic research in the Nguyen dynasty.
Hai said the station was the only one of its kind and the oldest astronomic architectural site with profound insights into scientific and eastern philosophy. – VNS