Hue [key], city (1989 pop. 260,489), former capital of the historic region of Annam, Vietnam, in a rich farming area on the Hue River near the South China Sea. Probably founded in the 3d cent. a.d., Hue was occupied in turn by the Chams and the Annamese. After the 16th cent. it was the seat of a dynasty that extended its power over S Annam, modern Cochin China, and parts of Cambodia and Laos. The first king of Vietnam, Nguyen Anh, was crowned there in 1802, and shortly thereafter Hue became the capital of the new kingdom, emerging as an artistic and literary center. The French occupied the city in 1883. During World War II the Japanese mined iron ore in the area. In the Vietnam War, Hue was the scene of the longest and heaviest fighting of the Tet offensive (Jan.–Feb., 1968); some 4,000 civilians were killed and most of the city, including the palaces and tombs of the former Annamese kings, was destroyed. Much of the city has been rebuilt. Hue has an important airport and is the seat of the Univ. of Hue.
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