Thai Hoa palace was the nerve center for the Emperor’s court during its heyday. Built in 1805 by Emperor Gia Long, Thai Hoa palace was first used in 1806 for the emperor’s coronation.
Directly in line with the Ngo Mon Gate along the Hue Citadel’s central axis, Thai Hoa palace can be reached after walking 330 feet across a bridge known as the Trung Dao (Central Path) which crosses a pond known as the Thai Dich (Grand Liquid Lake).
Immediately after crossing the bridge, you’ll step onto the Great Rites Court, where mandarins assembled to pay homage to the emperor.
The lower half, further away from the Thai Hoa palace, was reserved for village elders and lower-ranking ministers. The upper half of the court was reserved for high-ranking mandarins; you can still see the foot-high steles on either side of the court that dictate where each mandarin rank should stand relative to the Thai Hoa palace.
Thai Hoa palace was the nerve center for the Emperor’s court during its heyday. Built in 1805 by Emperor Gia Long, the Throne Palace was first used in 1806 for the emperor’s coronation. Over the years, Thai Hoa palace became the preferred setting for the Empire’s most important ceremonies, like the Coronations of Emperors and Crown Princes, and receiving foreign ambassadors. High meetings of state were also conducted at the Thai Hoa palace.
The Thai Hoa palace was built to accommodate such pomp and circumstance: the building is 144 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 38 feet tall, supported by lacquered-red columns entwined with gilded dragons. Over the throne hangs a carved board bearing Chinese characters reading “Thai Hoa palace-Palace of Supreme Harmony”.
The insulation and acoustics of the Thai Hoa palace are amazing for a building its age. The Thai Hoa palace enjoyed cool temperatures in the summer, and warm temperatures during the winter season. And anyone standing at the exact center of the Palace – where the throne was normally placed – could hear sounds from any point in the palace.