Nam Giao Esplanade – a Place Must Visit When You Are in Hue

nam giao altar

Location of Nam Giao Altar

Nam Giao Altar is the place where the Nguyen kings celebrated the annual ritual of heaven and earth. It is located in Truong An Ward, Hue City. This is the only Nam Giao Altar existed in Vietnam.

 Nam Giao Altar’s History 

nam giao altar

Nam Giao ritual is the most important ritual under the monarchy because the king has the right to make Giao ritual. It means the annual ritual of heaven and earth. It affirmed the orthodoxy of the dynasty, the emperor’s authority to obey the commandment of heaven that ruled the people. As a result, almost feudal dynasties in Vietnam held Giao ritual and they built Nam Giao Altar.

During the 79 independent years (1807 – 1885) of the Nguyen Dynasty, Nam Giao was the site celebrating Giao ritual in the annual spring. In 1891, King Nguyen came there to ritualize heaven and earth once every three years.

In Hue Festival 2004, Hue Monuments Conservation Center restored the Nam Giao ritual in the Nam Giao Altar after 60 years. This continues to be the highlight of the Hue Festival many years later.

Architecture of  Nam Giao Altar

nam giao altar

The Nguyen dynasty was built on a rectangular area of 103,350m² with a width of 265m (North and South) and a length of 390m (both East and West). The four sides of the campus are in four directions (East, West, South, and North), in which the south door is the main entrance. Besides, there is a pine forest covering Nam Giao Altar. In front of each door having the mass was built by stone, now only three masses in the East, South and West. Covering the sanctuary is a wall built basalt stone, 1.6m high, but it has long been destroyed.

The Nam Giao consists of 3 brick floors overlapped with different patterns and colors, which is 4.7m high. In addition, the structure and size of the floors are harmonious and balanced.

The top floor is Vien Dan symbolizing the heaven. It is circular and has blue lime color.

The middle floor is called Phuong Dan or Tung Dan symbolizing the Earth. It is square and has yellow lime color.

The bottom floor is square symbolizing the human. It has red lime color.

To go inside, you must buy ticket. Its price is quite reasonable (20.000 dong)

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