An Dinh Palace Opens to Public Prior to Hue Festival

Visitors and local inhabitants in Viet Nam’s central city of Hue are being granted free access to An Dinh Palace until the Hue Festival in June to give a glimpse of its beautiful interior, decorated by hundreds of phenomenal wall and ceiling artworks as a part of this year’s festival.

Ninety Years of Service

Built in 1918 by King Khai Dinh, An Dinh Palace’s interior is a striking collection of decorative features including exquisite wall and ceiling paintings which have undergone a long period of restoration by Vietnamese artists and artisans with German assistance since 2005.

In the past, the building functioned as a residence for Crown Prince Bao Dai and as summer palace for the king from 1919 to 1925.

Following the abdication of King Bao Dai in 1945, it became the residence of the Queen Mother, the Queen and King Bao Dai’s five children. Between 1955 and 1975 it was used as a dormitory for government officials and professors from the University of Hue.

After Reunification in 1975, it was transferred to the Provincial Trade Union and became the Worker’s Culture House. However, in 2001 it was placed in the care of the Hue Monuments Conservation Center. The exterior of the building was renovated during the Hue Festival 2002.

Restoring Hue

Restoration work has also continued in other historic buildings inside the former imperial city of Hue as part of the preparation for the upcoming Hue Festival from June 3 to 11.

Like An Dinh Palace, many imperial structures in Hue are in need of restoration after exposure to wars, repeated political upheaval, harsh weather conditions and the regular wear of time.

According to Mr. Phung Phu, Director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Center, hundreds of billions of VND have been collected from both domestic and foreign organizations to help restore the buildings to their original, glamorous look. The city earns VND45 billion (USD2.8 million) annually from entrance fees to the imperial relic site, he added.

By Minh Ha

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