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25/03/2022 - 12:05

Hue Then and Now

For exchanging information, sharing opinions as well as showing their love for heritage, lovers of the Ancient Capital have created Hue Then & Now - an attractive and interesting forum for those falling in love with Hue history, culture, architecture, and heritage landscape.

Rare documentary photos fading over time are shared in Hue Then & Now

Then and now

In 2014, after the publication of his first book on Saigon, the historian and researcher Tim Doling, together with Saigoneer, founded a group on Facebook named Saigon - Cho Lon Then & Now.

With such motivation and a strong love for Hue, in 2017, before publishing the book Exploring Hue, he joined hands with his two friends, Mr. Tran Van Dung and Mr. Dang Lam, to create the group Hue Then & Now - an interesting site to help promote images and share knowledge about Hue heritage.

Tim Doling shared: “Hue Then & Now is one of a series of Facebook pages created, including Saigon - Cho Lon Then & Now, Quang Nam Then & Now, Hanoi and the Red River Delta Then & Now. By comparing old photos with current ones taken at the same location, viewers will not only admire rare documentary photos that faded over time, but also feel like reliving the old Hue with nostalgia of a golden age.”

The documentary images published by Hue Then & Now are mostly cited from foreign documents of travelers who visited and wrote about Hue in the late 19th century and early 20th century, or from the articles of scholars, newspapers and magazines published in English and French nearly a hundred years ago.

Therefore, these are extremely valuable documentary photos representing a wide array of landmarks, ranging from Ngo Mon (Noon Gate), Thai Hoa Palace, Can Chanh Palace, Hien Nhon Gate to the Tombs of Emperors Gia Long, Minh Mang, Khai Dinh, etc., from a small quarter of Bao Vinh ancient town to Phu Cam Cathedral, Truong Tien bridge or a bustling street in the heart of the city.

With more than 3.9 thousand members and a lot of visual materials being shared, Hue lovers can relive the precious moments of the Ancient Capital through many landmarks of time, space, and landscape architecture.

Acquiring knowledge

For Chi Cong, a young native of Hue who loves to travel and experience, Hue Then & Now brought him extremely indescribable emotions.

The guy born in 1990s confided: “From this Facebook page, I have seen Hue in a very different perspective. The roads and buildings associated with my childhood appear very familiar and close to me. Now, my love for them is even bigger when I witness the same constructions, yet tens or even hundreds of years ago.”

Particularly for researchers, Hue Then & Now not only provides useful information, but also acts as a forum with tons of surprises and interesting things.

Mr. Tran Van Dung, one of the founding members of the group, shared: “In 2016, the photo “1077. AN NAM - Hué - Palais du Prince Tuyen - Hoa, frère du Roi” (Place of Prince Tuyen Hoa, the younger brother of the Emperor) published on Hue Then & Now surprised many people including myself. Because up to now, there has not been any research into this beautiful architectural work that combines the styles of both East and West.

From this photo, many conflicting opinions about the background and the owner of the above work have appeared. It is generally believed to be taken at An Dinh Residence of Duke of Phung HoaBuu Dao (later Emperor Khai Dinh), which is the predecessor of the present An Dinh Palace.

After his process of researching and surveying, Mr. Tran Van Dung published a research article in Song Huong Magazine, confirming that the photo above is the architecture of Residence of Prince Tuyen HoaBuu Tan (the 9th prince of Emperor Duc Duc), not An Dinh Palace as many people mistook.

Since its establishment, Hue Then & Now has created an attractive forum, acting as an interesting and reliable address for those who love the history and cultural heritage in Hue. Not only for the purpose of exchanging information, the documentary photos of the Ancient Capital and today's images taken at the same location have also brought many meaningful messages, thereby making an important contribution to raising the community's awareness about the conservation and promotion of Hue cultural heritage values ​​in contemporary social life.

By Mai Hue

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