Nam Giao Esplanade

Built in 1806 in the reign of Gia Long King, the Nam Giao esplanade had once been the place where Nguyen Emperors came to preside over sacrificial offering ceremonies to God. The Esplanade is located about 4km south of Hue city.

Facing south, the esplanade consists of three terraces. The first, symbolizing the human, is square-shaped and red. The second, called Phuong Esplanade, also square-shaped and yellow, represents the earth. The third terrace is circle-shaped and green in colour; called the Vien Esplanade, it epitomizes heaven. These are the symbols of the Oriental universe theory: Heaven - Circle and Earth - Square.

There are also many houses and pine trees surrounding the Esplanade such as Trai Palace (a place for the King’s vegetarian diet and rest during the ceremonies of offering sacrifices to God), Than Tru (Kitchen), Than Kho (Warehouse) and others.

 The ceremony of offering sacrifices to God was a great festival day to be organized once every year and usually lasted three days. These ceremonies were prevalent from the reign of Gia Long to Dong Khanh. After the reign of Emperor Thanh Thai (1889-1907), this festival was organized every three years and in Bao Dai’s reign, it was shorten to only one day.

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