The Nine Dynastic Urns is one of the most valuable works of art in Hue in particular and in Vietnam in general. The Dynastic Urns include 9 urns situated in the front of Hien Lam Pavilion, opposite The Mieu Temple and to the southwest of Hue Imperial City. The Nine Dynastic Urns was started its construction in December 1835 and completed in June 1837 under King Minh Mang. This artwork represents the unity and the beauty of the country as well as the sustainable and permanent existence of Nguyen Dynasty. The pictures selected to display on the 9 Urns could also regarded as a vivid encyclopedia of Vietnam country at that time. The Nine Dynastic Urns is one of the fascinating tourist attractions in Hue.
The southwest corner of Hue Citadel is a unique and attractive architectural ensemble mentioned as an indispensable Hue attraction - that is relic complex including Hien Lam Pavilion, The Mieu Temple and The Nine Dynastic Urns. These works are linked together on the architectural space and on the function in the harmonious landscape overall. Hien Lam Pavilion is the memorial built to remember Kings of Nguyen Dynasty. The Mieu Temple is home to worship Kings of Nguyen Dynasty. This is also the place the imperial court sacrificing the deceased Kings... Meanwhile, The Nine Dynastic Urns is a combination of 9 bronze urns placed horizontally below Hien Lam Pavilion's threshold corresponding 9 worshiping place in The Mieu Temple. Prominent among them, an urn is situated in the center, alone in the first row high up 3m high forward with implications for honoring the great contributions of the first King of the Dynasty (Emperor Gia Long).
Each urn is carved the proper name symbolizing the emperors after their death put into The Mieu Temple, namely Cao Urn - Emperor Gia Long, Nhan Urn - Emperor Minh Mang, Chuong Urn - Emperor Thieu Tri, Anh Urn - Emperor Tu Duc, Nghi Urn - Emperor Kien Phuc, Thuan Urn - Emperor Dong Khanh, Tuyen Urn - Emperor Khai Dinh. Meanwhile, Du Urn and Huyen Urn were not intended to symbolize any kings as the result of the success of August Revolution ending the feudal period of Nguyen Dynasty and bringing Vietnam country to enter the new history. Discovering unique features of The Nine Dynastic Urns is definitely one of the most things to do in Hue, strongly attracting the great number of both domestic and international tourists.
Highlights on each urn are 17 carved picture motifs with the theme of universe, mountains and rivers, the animals, products and weapons... gathering together into the panorama of reunified Vietnam country under Nguyen Dynasty. All 153 arrays of pictures on The Nine Dynastic Urns are 153 independent and complete carvings, which is a gifted combination between bronze casting and carving art in Vietnam in the early nineteenth century. In particular, undergoing the periods of Indochina War, Vietnam War and economic downturn (1975-1981), The Nine Dynastic Urns has remained intactly and not been moved from its original position. The journey of exploring Hue travel will definitely become much more fully when tourists set foot on The Nine Dynastic Urns.
Values of The Nine Dynastic Urns are firstly displayed in its great stature and sophisticated bronze casting qualifications of the craftsmen in Phuong Duc village, Hue city. The highest one is up to 2.5m; meanwhile the lowest one is 2.3m. The waist perimeter is from 4,64m to 4,72m. The weight of heaviest one is 2,061kg and the lightest one of 1,935kg. The Nine Dynastic Urns is really one of the precious cultural heritage sites and the must–see tourist sights in any Hue tours. Under the perspective of cultural history, The Nine Dynastic Urns is a symbol for the prosperous and beautiful characteristics, the unification of the country and the sustainable dynasty dreaming. It can be confirmed that The Nine Dynastic Urns Hue is a unique work of art with high values in terms of culture and history of Vietnam nation, from its shape to the external decorative reliefs; simultaneously, it also contains the ideological content of an era, thoughts and conception of the human about the country, the universe and the nature.
Thanks to exquisite aesthetics, creativity along with the high technical qualifications, the bronze casting artisans have successfully and excellently expressed vision through their artworks. 9 urns are both imposing and extremely elegant, both consistency in the overall and diversity in details. It is the diversity in the harmony that has promoted much more valuable of artworks and the artistic qualifications of the ancients. The Nine Dynastic Urns thus displays its significant contributions in promoting Hue tourism closer to both domestic and international tourists.