Ngo Mon Gate – the principal gate to the Imperial City

Ngọ Môn also known as the Gate of Noon, is the principal gate to the Imperial City, located within the citadel of Huế. It was built in 1833 in the traditional Vietnamese Nguyen style under the dominion of emperor Minh Mạng and the supreme used it as an observation point for troop campaigns and ceremonies.

The gate is splitted into two levels: the stone and brick fortress-like base structure, and the more elaborate, palace-like upper level.

The ground level has five entries, of which the centre one was always used for the monarch’s only. The two side entries (smaller) were used for mandarins, soldiers and horses. The two small bowed entries on the side were for the rest and common people.

The upper layer consists of a grand pavilion, called the Lầu Ngũ Phụng (Five-Phoenix Pavilion). It’s easy for the emperor  to watch troop campaigns and his subjects bringing homage from the principal hall. The roof of pavillion is decorated in imperial yellow, glazed ceramic roof tiles that are various animals and creatures to ward off evil.

Ngo Mon Gate’s architecture is somehow similar to Tiananmen Square in Beijing but also reflects the national architectural style of Vietnam. Ngo Mon is sophisticated and elegant, it’s considered the pinnacle of architectural art of the imperial court. Ngo Mon Gate was also where many important historical events and holidays of the Nguyen Dynasty took place y as publish new calendar, naming doctorate ceremony etc. August 30, 1945, Ngo Mon witnessed the abdication of Emperor Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam’s monarchy who handed power to the interim government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam

Ngo Mon Gate was able to survive the large-scale destruction during the Vietnamese War from 1950’s-1970s. In 1968, after the Battle Mau Than in Hue, Ngo Mon was severely damaged. Until 1970, the gate and some other places (also damaged) were repaired.

Ngo Mon Gate is one of the most important sites which you should visit during your trip to Hue