Cửu Vị Thần Công (Nine Holy Cannons) are a famous landmark of Hue and a symbol of the Nguyen’s Dynasty grandeur. The cannons are also named “Nine Gods” and they were manufactured in 1803 and 1804 at the request of Emperor Gia Long. Today they are considered masterpieces of bronze art. Originally the cannons were placed at the main entrance to the Imperial City, at the Moon Gate, but during the reign of Emperor Khai Dinh they were moved to their current location, on both sides of the Flag Tower.
Each cannon is 5.1 m in length and weighs about 17,000 pounds. On each cannon its weight is engraved. Four cannons are named after the seasons and the others are named after the five main elements (metal, wood, water, fire, and earth). The cannons were never in use; they are only symbolically protecting the Imperial City.