Huế is Vietnam’s ancient capital. Its old vibe may not date back to 4000 years back, but the city has witnessed both the sunrise and sunset of the last Vietnam feudal dynasty, the Nguyễn. Accordingly, there is a huge diversity of landmarks built over the past few centuries during the rule of the Nguyễn Kings as well as under the surveillance of the French colonial government, which you can easily observe during a Hue tour. Amongst all of those, Tràng Tiền Bridge has lived as an indestructible beholder.
Tràng Tiền Bridge
What should you know about Tràng Tiền Bridge?
If Hanoi has its Long Biên Bridge crossing over the Red River, Tràng Tiền is the first bridge ever flying over Hương River in Huế. This is also one of the very first bridges appearing at the end of the XIX century and following a Western cutting-edge technology and elements. Long before then, all of these arches and connections were made out of wooden and bamboo, which made it hard to stand still in time.
At first, Tràng Tiền was given several different names such as Thành Thái, Clémenceau, Nguyễn Hoàng and so in. Yet, right in front of the bridge lied a Nguyễn government-ruled coin-casting factory, which can be abbreviated into “Tràng Tiền” for short and the bridge was hence named as such. At the time, the act of making a steeled overpass crossing the poetic Hương River was a painstaking project. Another thing taken into account was the constructing condition itself. Huế was accordingly facing a challenge of bringing a modern passageway yet not ruining the initial dream-like landscape.
The bridge in its 30s
A year after King Thành Thái promulgated a decree allowing Tràng Tiền Bridge to be built, in April 1897, the King passed 190.000 in Indochine currency as an investment shared with the French side. The construction of Tràng Tiền Bridge was handed over to Eiffel Company.
King Thành Thái
On the day Tràng Tiền Bridge started its first construction, King Thành Thái was the man to set the first brick. Two years later, a semicircle six-span bridge overlapping its ironwood base showed up. The whole arch lasts over 400 meters in total with 6 meters in width. During its first construction, Tràng Tiền Bridge lacked the pavement segments for walkers.
When the bridge was inaugurated in 1899, Huế local citizens had witnessed three collapses down the Hương River in total. In 1904, the biggest storm in the history of Southern Vietnam took four spans of the bridge out of six. In 1906, the bridge took two years to complete its renovation. Until the reign of King Bảo Đại in the year 1937, Tràng Tiền Bridge undergone its finest update with two new sidewalks for walkers and two-wheel vehicles.
When night falls
Back in 2002, the year Huế Festival was held, Tràng Tiền Bridge set up a color illuminating system throughout the whole arch. Nightfall brings a mystic and romantic scenery for the surrounding Tràng Tiền. Even though more projects are coming in the near future, Tràng Tiền Bridge will forever stand as an indestructible bystander of the city. Other than that, the bridge would be long existing as a central focal point amid a broad collection of famous landmarks and tourist attractions around that you can totally reach within walking distance in a Hue day tour.
Popular heritage sites in Hue surrounding Tràng Tiền Bridge
- Huế Citadel
- Đông Ba Market
- XQ Embroidery Museum
- Lê Lợi Park
- Chè Hẻm – An iconic sweeten soup dessert bistro where you can find Huế authentic cuisine, Roasted Pork Sweet Soup.
Roasted pork sweet soup
What type of Hue tour do you think it would fit its poetic scenario? The answer is definitely Hue tour for couples. Spending up to two days with your other significant is apparently a good choice. Let’s start with the Huế Citadel and cross over Tràng Tiền Bridge to explore the other side of the city across the Hương River. For the past century, this symbolic bridge has not only played its role as a connection solely, yet a tourism landmark that attracts a huge number of visitors as well.