|Poetic tribute: The restored Xung Khiem Ta and Du Khiem Ta pavilions, which sit atop Luu Khiem Pond near the mausoleum of King Tu Duc. — VNS Photo Vinh Khanh
THUA THIEN — HUE (VNS) — The former imperial city of Hue has finally reopened several monuments previously closed for restoration work.
The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, which manages the use and conservation of the city's monuments, said the Thai Binh Lau (Pavilion), Xung Khiem Ta (Pavilion), Du Khiem Ta (Pavilion) and Duyet Thi Duong royal theatre will open their gates to tourists.
Thai Binh Lau Pavilion, which includes a two-storey wooden house with unique architecture, sits inside the former Imperial Palace and once served the king's reading and relaxing needs.
The original pavilion was built in 1887 but its original wooden structure was ruined over the years. The restoration work took four years and cost VND24 billion (US$1.1 million).
Nearby in the palace is Duyet Thi Duong, one of the oldest theatres in Viet Nam that still claims its original structure. The recent restoration work focused on remodeling the interior, bring it back to its original design.
The theatre will now host performances of nha nhac (Hue royal court music), as it was originally intended for when it was built in 1826. A show would be held to entertain royalty and entertain guests.
Two other pavilions in the Khiem Lang Tomb vicinity are up and running. The tomb is the resting place for the Nguyen Dynasty's fourth king, Tu Duc, famous for his poems.
King Tu Duc built the mausoleum for himself, together with a manmade pond and hill. All the sights at the mausoleum have the word khiem (modest) in its name, apparently a reflection his character.
The renovated wooden pavilions emerge from the placid surface of the Luu Khiem pond. They are famous examples of the typical architecture of their time.
Built in 1864, Xung Khiem Ta pavilion was a place for the king to relax and write his poems. Du Khiem Ta pavilion served as a pier for sightseeing boats that might wish to go for a meander around the king's resting place.
The restoration of the pavilions cost VND27 billion ($1.25 million). — VNS