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Ngo Mon Gate, Hue

Ngo Mon Gate, Hue
Photo Information
Copyright: Will Perrett (willperrett) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1046 W: 301 N: 2765] (12882)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2015-10-21
Categories: Castles, Daily Life, Architecture
Camera: Canon EOS5D, Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM
Exposure: 1/214 seconds
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2016-06-05 3:01
Viewed: 1699
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Girls wearing traditional "áo dài" outside the Ngọ Môn Gate of the Imperial City, Huế, Viet Nam.

The áo dài dresses probably mark out these girls as students of Hue University.

The grounds of the Imperial City are protected by fortified ramparts 2 kilometers square, and ringed by a series of moats, one of which is seen here. The water in the moat is routed from the Huong River (Perfume River) through a series of sluice gates. This enclosure is the Citadel (Kinh thành). Inside the Citadel is the Imperial City (Hoàng thành), with a perimeter wall some 2.5 kilometers in length. Within the Imperial City is the Purple Forbidden City (Tử cấm thành), built on the lines of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

In June 1802 Nguyễn Ánh took control of Vietnam and proclaimed himself Emperor Gia Long. His rule was recognized by China in 1804. Gia Long consulted with geomancers to decide which was the best place for a new palace and citadel to be built. After the geomancers had decided on a suitable site in Huế, building began in 1804. Thousands of workers were ordered to produce a wall and moat, 10 kilometers long. Initially the walls were earthen, but later these earthen walls were replaced by stone walls, 2 meters thick.

The citadel was oriented to face the Huong River to the east. This was different from the Forbidden City in Beijing, which faces south. The Emperor's palace is on the east side of the citadel, nearest the river. A second set of walls and a second moat was constructed around the Emperor's palace. Many more palaces and gates and courtyards and gardens were subsequently added. The reigns of the last Vietnamese Emperors lasted until the mid-1900s. At the time, the Purple Forbidden City had many buildings and hundreds of rooms. It suffered from termite and cyclone damage, but was still very impressive. Many bullet holes left over from the Vietnam War can be observed on the stone walls.

In the early morning hours of January 31, 1968, as part of the Tet Offensive a Division-sized force of North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong soldiers launched a coordinated attack on Huế seizing most of the city. During the initial phases of the Battle of Hue, due to Huế's religious and cultural status, US troops were ordered not to bomb or shell the city, for fear of destroying the historic structures;[citation needed] but as casualties mounted in house-to-house fighting these restrictions were progressively lifted and the fighting caused substantial damage to the Imperial City. Out of 160 buildings only 10 major sites remain because of the battle, such as the Thái Ḥa and Cần Thanh temples, Thế Miếu, and Hiển Lâm Các. The city was made a UNESCO site in 1993. The buildings that still remain are being restored and preserved. The latest and so far the largest restoration project concluded in 2015.

The Ngọ Môn Gate, also known as the Gate of Noon, is the main gate to the Imperial City, Huế. It was used by the sovereign as an observation point for troop movements and ceremonies. The gate is divided into two levels: the stone and brick fortress-like base structure, and the more elaborate, palace-like upper level. The ground level has five entrances, of which the centre one was always reserved for the monarch's use only. The two, slightly smaller, side entrances were reserved for mandarins, soldiers and horses. The two small arched entrances on the side were for the rest and commoners. The upper level consists of a grand pavilion, called the Lầu Ngũ Phụng (Five-Phoenix Pavilion). From the main hall, the emperor would watch troop movements and his subjects bringing homage. The pavilion's roof is decked in imperial yellow, glazed ceramic roof tiles. On the roof tiles are various animals and creatures to ward off evil. The main hall is flanked by two side pavilions, which were reserved for members of the court.

The Ngọ Môn was able to survive the large-scale destruction during the Vietnam War.


Shutter speed: 1/250 sec
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO: 200

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pajaran, tyro, GyurMaster, alvaraalto, macjake, adores has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To kasianowak: Noteswillperrett 1 2016-06-05 04:23
To holmertz: Noteswillperrett 2 2016-06-05 08:10
To Royaldevon: Noteswillperrett 1 2016-06-05 04:28
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Will,
The six smiling young ladies make a charming focal point and also give us a sense of scale for this immense. Good management of the light and shadow contrasts, which contribute much to the pleasant atmosphere. Excellent technical realisation.

Hi Will
I bet the note you spent some time to write disappeared as soon as you clicked the upload button. It happens to me too and I find it very frustrating.
In this case I'll try to imagine how you took this photo. Did you find these six ladies sheltering from the blazing sun in this shady corner and convinced them to pose for you?
Lovely colours enhanced by the play of light and shadow.
Have a nice Sunday

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 24394 W: 523 N: 40801] (175578)
  • [2016-06-05 3:40]

Hello Will,

What has you promised the six girls, to pose for your camera, as sister beside each other.
Also the temple is very well and pleasant to look at.
Pleasant panorama picture too.
Lovely colours and sharpness, excellent composition.
Very well done, TFS.

Have a nice day,

Hello Will,
This photo can be perfectly enjoyed without a note, but if you make another attempt to add an explanation we will know if you charmed these girls into posing for you, or if you "stole" them from another photographer. No matter what, this is a beautiful photo, immaculately composed, with a nice foreground and an interesting background. After two visits to Hué I have the impression that a bright and sunny day like this doesn't come very often.
Best regards,

Hello Will,

I imagine your notes have gone astray by the gremlins in this site!
I always copy mine before I upload! Such a problem!

This is an excellent photograph of the building, probably a temple and enhanced so cleverly by the six young ladies in purple uniform. Despite the conformity in their dress, they are all wearing modern individual shoes!
It was probably so much cooler under the tree than in the strong sunshine.

Have a lovely Sunday,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11746 W: 126 N: 21116] (108775)
  • [2016-06-05 6:00]

A magnificent capture of this old temple,the architechture is absolutely lovely,i like the rich decorations and the different colors too,impressive sharpness and the special bonus of sudent girls in purple dress,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

Hi Will
Very impressive place and this line of rather happy looking young girls does add a nice extra something to the scene as well. Their smiles ate almost contagious.

Bonjour Will,

Tu as été très chanceux de trouver d'aussi beaux modèles pour ta composition. Elles présentent bien devant ce temple des plus impressionnant. J'aime beaucoup la légère saturation des couleurs et le contrôle des ombres.

Bon dimanche


  • Great 
  • tyro Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 415 N: 6630] (26832)
  • [2016-06-05 9:33]

Hello Will,

You have given us a most interesting and comprehensive note and a delightful photograph o accompany it!

I very much like the diagonal composition and how the bright sunlight shows off the colourful roofs of the main building while the six pretty girls smiling at you are bathed in softer dappled light. Nice framing from the overhanging foliage, perfect exposure and exquisite details and sharpness.


Kind Regards,


Dear Will,

This time the writing of note took more time than the PP of the image, I guess. :) I liked it, however!

Best Wishes,

Hello Will,
An interesting scene with these sic purple girls posing for your camera. The purple colour is a beautiful contrast with the other colours of the composition.
I also like the contrast of the human presence and the old buildings behind.
Excellent presentation.
Groet Rob

Hello, Will!

The architecture is wonderful and it was captured with excellent light and colors! The typical clothes are also a very interesting detail in this scene! Beautiful composition! Excellent job!

  • Great 
  • BennyV Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2445 W: 34 N: 4392] (24697)
  • [2016-06-09 8:21]

Hello Will

Great picture sneaking in on the posing girls, and probably better than the picture they were actually posing for. A good thing for you that the girl in the middle decided to look in your direction.

The gate in the background is imposing, the sky above perfect. It's high time we go back to Vietnam, I spent a couple of years teaching there, looking at this picture makes me realize (again) (again) (again) it's been too long since we've gone back.


Hi Will
wonderful photo, i like it for many reasons, but i really enjoy how its partly in shade and mostly in bright light.
The girls are posing and you got yourself a fun shot even though they're not posing for you.
amazing history I would imagine here, love the stone and the smaller more intricate details like the orange colored ornaments used in the short wall behind the girls legs.

As for notes, not sure if i mentioned it to you before or not...but the best way now to upload your note is to just type it in after. When your photo is posted on the new gallery page, click on your photo...then directly under it click on 'EDIT'.

Then you can type in your note in full, and it uploads each and every time.

  • Great 
  • adores Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5877 W: 64 N: 11341] (46935)
  • [2016-11-20 13:25]

Hi Will!
This is really a place I'd like to visit once again. It was raining so much when I was there. Hue is a fantastic place and you got a very nice shot with these local girls wearing the traditional dresses.

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