Vestige of Quang Trung (Nguyen Hue) in Phu Xuan (Hue)

In the struggling history of the glorious country establishment and the defense of Vietnamese people, Thua Thien Hue is very proud of being an area closely connected with a well-known dynasty - the Tay Son Dynasty.

This royal dynasty made brilliant feat of arms during the country’s safeguarding and unification at the end of the 18th century, with the great merit of the brilliant hero Quang Trung-Nguyen Hue.

In the late 18th century, our country was in an extremely complicated situation. The fact that the country was being partitioned into Dang Trong (or Southern region) and Dang Ngoai (or Northern region) during the last two centuries, left serious consequences and a threat of foreign aggression. In Dang Ngoai, Le Royal Dynasty was completely powerless with corrupt politics and miserable people, as the dictator Trinh Lord wielded absolute authority. In Dang Trong, the deterioration of the Nguyen Lord was also becoming worse. The uprising of the Tay Son Farmers’ Movement in 1771 met the requirement of historic inevitability and soon created a great prestige within the people. Fearing the Tay Son’s increasing influence over Thuan Hoa-Phu Xuan, Trinh Lord’s army conquered Phu Xuan in 1775 and dominated this land for over ten years, committing many crimes and atrocities on the people.
Being a younger brother of Nguyen Nhac (leader of the Tay Son Movement), Nguyen Hue played a very important role as general, particularly in the defeat of Xiem aggressors at Rach Gam-Xoai Mut front in 1785. In 1786, Nguyen Hue and his troops moved into Thuan Hoa and cleared the Trinh army out of Phu Xuan, though only for a few days. With the victory impetus, he then expanded the operation to the North. After annihilating the Trinh autocratic authority, Nguyen Hue handed over authority to Le King and withdrew his troops back to Phu Xuan.

In 1788, under the pretext of helping Le King, Man Thanh’s court (Qing Dynasty) sent its army, led by Le Chieu Thong, to our country. Upon being given the urgent news, Nguyen Hue had the Nam Giao Esplanade established for the heaven worshiping ceremony at Ban Mountain (Ban Son), Phu Xuan to declare his ascension to the throne. He took ‘Quang Trung’ as his dynastic title and further pushed his operations to the North to crush the foreign aggressors. With pre-eminent military genius, Quang Trung Nguyen Hue made a much celebrated major victory in the Spring of 1789, purging tens of thousands of aggressors and assuring the security of the country’s border areas, as well as creating again a peaceful life for the people. After that historic victory, Nguyen Hue immediately arranged political works in the North and returned to Phu Xuan with his great army. Over the following ten years (1789-1802), Phu Xuan was the capital of the united Dai Viet under the Tay Son Dynasty. Quang Trung Emperor promulgated and implemented many important internal and external policies here in order to construct and develop the country. The Tay Son Dynasty, led by Quang Trung Emperor, was a feudal reign bringing many glories for our nation at the latter half of the 18th century with Phu Xuan Capital City as its center.

Vestiges and relics of the Tay Son Dynasty at Phu Xuan still exist in books and in reality. Particularly, Ban Mountain (Ban Son) was recognized as a national historical relic by the Ministry of Culture and Information in 1988. In the last two decades, many important relics were discovered at various places in Thua Thien Hue. Among these findings, there are some remarkable examples such as two bronze bells discovered at La Chu village (Huong Tra district) and Ha Lang village (Quang Dien district). These bells were engraved with an article in praise of the enlightened Emperor and a long list of Tay Son mandarins. Other relics found were a wall-hanging embroidered with the Kim Cuong sutra and the Tay Son dynastic title, which was preserved at Truc Lam Pagoda (Hue City). In addition, two stone steles were found containing the line “Ho huong Tay Son khoi” (Tigers face respectfully towards Tay Son) and other stone steles written about Pham Cong Tri (a person who impersonated the Quang Trung Emperor to get on friendly terms with Thanh King). Furthermore, hundreds of documentation in Chinese characters and Chinese-transcribed Vietnamese (manuscripts) including books, administrative documents such as land registers, applications and requests, contracts, conventions, royal proclamation, and many others have been discovered. These various documents, which were issued under the reign of Tay Son with dynastic titles of Thai Duc, Quang Trung, Canh Thinh, provided more necessary and helpful information on this dynasty.

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