For a comprehensive Hue Overview, it is essential to trace the growth of the city from its very beginning to what it has become today, along with many additions that have taken place, as it evolved over a course of many years, leaving a mark on the pages of Vietnam's history. Hue was the capital of Vietnam during the feudal rule from 1802 to 1945 under the Nguyen dynasty and subsequently the centre of architectural evolution of the era. Not surprisingly, it is known for the magnificent architecture of its citadels, palaces, royal tombs, pagodas and temples juxtaposed against a lush scenic background of greenery on the banks of the Perfume River, inspiring many poetries and eulogies for their spellbinding beauty.
The various structures that are a hallmark of the ancient architecture of the land are laid out in harmony with nature and in accordance with the principles of geomancy (feng shui). Apart from its splendid monuments that are a fond reminder of the past glory of the city, the ancient traditions and practices of the people of Hue are still an innate part of the modern day life today. One can get a vivid glimpse of the cultural traditions of Hue, as passed down from generations, in their daily routines and activities in religion, gastronomy, handicraft, music, the performing arts and traditional festivals.
It is due to these cultural treasures and vestiges that Hue became Vietnam's first World Cultural Heritage site recognized by UNESCO in 1993.